The Mosul attack -- God willing -- represents rearguard actions of a defeated foe
Frederick Chiaventone makes a nice argument that the bombing in Mosul, although devastating, actually indicates that the insurgency is dying out, not revving up:
As if it was not bad enough for thousands of American soldiers to be far away from home at Christmas, now comes the latest assault -- a devastating attack on the dining facility at Forward Operating Base Merez, just outside of the city of Mosul. It was a deadly and dastardly assault deliberately engineered by the enemy to catch American and Iraqi troops with their guard down. At least 19 Americans are dead and more than 60 people are wounded. The casualties include U.S. American soldiers and contractors and Iraqi soldiers. *** More likely it will be found that this was a suicide attack in keeping with the claims of the so-called Ansar al-Sunnah Army, which claims credit for this operation. The statements of some survivors about the presence of "ball bearings" scattered among the wreckage tend to support this possibility. But the key point of this attack — and indeed of a number of recent attacks against U.S. soldiers, Iraqi police and military and, most significantly, Iraqi civilians — is that the insurgents are taking fewer and fewer personal risks. Devastated by American assaults, demoralized by the stubborn determination of Iraqis to participate in upcoming elections and to return to a normal and newly democratic life, the radical Islamists are desperate. Their perverted dream of a medieval society dominated by terror is evaporating before their very eyes. The Iraqi people are winning. Thus the terrorists pursue any desperate ploy to disrupt, to delay to terrorize the Iraqi population. You'll notice that I did not refer to the population as "their fellow Iraqis" because a great many of the terrorists are now foreigners — Syrians, Palestinians, Saudis, Iranians — the enemy has had to draw from disaffected radicals throughout the region. They're fighting a losing battle.I will only add, as an aside, that Israeli civilians have faced these kinds of devastating attacks -- when their guards are down -- for the life of the State of Israel, and with particular ferocity during the last intifadah.