We wonder why Iraq seems to be going poorly, but the issues faced are not always the ones reported on a regular basis. You hear about the issues of roadside bombs, but the terrorists and insurgents are using techniques that are quite simple and yet effective.
They are shutting down electricity coming into the city. That simple. They are blowing up the power lines so that Baghdad has limited power coming in, making the hardships look much worse in Baghdad where the reporters and news media are than in most other parts of the country. You may not like the insurgents, but they do know how to play the twenty first century media game.
Over the past six months, Baghdad has been all but isolated electrically, Iraqi officials say, as insurgents have effectively won their battle to bring down critical high-voltage lines and cut off the capital from the major power plants to the north, south and west.
The battle has been waged in the remotest parts of the open desert, where the great towers that support thousands of miles of exposed lines are frequently felled with explosive charges in increasingly determined and sophisticated attacks, generally at night. Crews that arrive to repair the damage are often attacked and sometimes killed, ensuring that the government falls further and further behind as it attempts to repair the lines.
And in a measure of the deep disunity and dysfunction of this nation, when the repair crews and security forces are slow to respond, skilled looters often arrive with heavy trucks that pull down more of the towers to steal as much of the valuable aluminum conducting material in the lines as possible. The aluminum is melted into ingots and sold.What amounts to an electrical siege of Baghdad is reflected in constant power failures and disastrously poor service in the capital, with severe consequences for security, governance, health care and the mood of an already weary and angry populace. via the New York Times.