Huh. I guess, maybe, insurgents run away from superior firepower:
The operational commander of troops battling to drive fighters with Al Qaeda from Baquba said Friday that 80 percent of the top Qaeda leaders in the city fled before the American-led offensive began earlier this week. He compared their flight with the escape of Qaeda leaders from Falluja ahead of an American offensive that recaptured that city in 2004.
In an otherwise upbeat assessment, Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the second-ranking American commander in Iraq, told reporters that leaders of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia had been alerted to the Baquba offensive by widespread public discussion of the American plan to clear the city before the attack began. He portrayed the Qaeda leaders’ escape as cowardice, saying that “when the fight comes, they leave,” abandoning “midlevel” Qaeda leaders and fighters to face the might of American troops — just, he said, as they did in Falluja.
Wow. Who could have predicted that? And while the challenge to Al-Qaeda’s manhood is charming in a fourteenth century kind of way, I seriously doubt that the insurgent leadership is as stupid as, say, Right Blogistan or the braintrust of the Bush administration. Indeed, the idea that fleeing superior numbers, firepower, and technology is somehow “unmanly” is rather quaint; I suspect that insurgents would be happy enough if we threw down our tanks, cruise missiles, fighter jets, and armored personal carriers and settled this dispute by Marquess of Queensbury rules.
Also, it seems that somebody is irritated at the current Golden Child:
Some American officers in Baquba have placed blame for the Qaeda leaders’ flight on public remarks about the offensive in the days before it began by top American commanders, including Gen. David H. Petraeus, the overall commander in Iraq.
But don’t those officers understand that the only real front is the home front, and the only serious battle the PR fight? Compared to the MSM and the Democrats, Al Qaeda poses only a trivial threat to our precious bodily fluids…