First off, I don't know what it means to embolden our enemies, but I am pretty damn sure this is not going to unembolden them.
The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, corrupt charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent, a classified United States government report has concluded.So...they are now able to completely fund their own insurgency? At least they have the whole entrepreneurship thing down. It also looks like they are going to start franchising the mayhem.
The report, obtained by The New York Times, estimates that groups responsible for many of the insurgent and terrorist attacks are raising $70 million to $200 million a year from illegal activities. It says that $25 million to $100 million of the total comes from oil smuggling and other criminal activity involving the state-owned oil industry aided by “corrupt and complicit” Iraqi officials.
“If accurate,” the report says, its estimates indicate that these “sources of terrorist and insurgent finance within Iraq — independent of foreign sources — are currently sufficient to sustain the groups’ existence and operation.” To this, it adds what may be its most surprising conclusion: “In fact, if recent revenue and expense estimates are correct, terrorist and insurgent groups in Iraq may have surplus funds with which to support other terrorist organizations outside of Iraq.”f ewior iwer oiuerj adinai rwerijkldmklfj. That is how mad this news makes me. I can only type nonsense words. The Iraqi insurgency now has enough money to open an "International House of Suicide Bombing" in a city near you. But wait...it gets worse. According to Michael Ware of CNN, this is the type of action we are seeing in Iraq, and there is no way to candy coat it:
...for the people living on the streets, for Iraqis in their homes, if this is not civil war, or a form of it, then they do not want to see what one really looks like.This is what we are faced with now, an insurgency powerful enough to farm out their bombings and a people engaged in a full scale civil war. I am now at the point where if any 'serious' foreign policy thinker were to tell me, to my face, that Iraq is still winnable and a noble cause, I would haul off an punch them square in the mouth.
This is what we're talking about. We're talking about Sunni neighborhoods shelling Shia neighborhoods, and Shia neighborhoods shelling back.
We're having Sunni communities dig fighting positions to protect their streets. We're seeing Sunni extremists plunging car bombs into heavily-populated Shia marketplaces. We're seeing institutionalized Shia death squads in legitimate police and national police commando uniforms going in, systematically, to Sunni homes in the middle of the night and dragging them out, never to be seen again.
I mean, if this is not civil war, where there is, on average, 40 to 50 tortured, mutilated, executed bodies showing up on the capital streets each morning, where we have thousands of unaccounted for dead bodies mounting up every month, and where the list of those who have simply disappeared for the sake of the fact that they have the wrong name, a name that is either Sunni or Shia, so much so that we have people getting dual identity cards, where parents cannot send their children to school, because they have to cross a sectarian line, then, goodness, me, I don't want to see what a civil war looks like either if this isn't one.