I don't know what the Ba'ath insurgents think they're going to gain from shifting their attacks from US/UK troops to infrastructure, although it's impressed the NYT:
"The attacks raised new concerns that the insurgents who have been singling out American soldiers may be widening their strikes to include civilian targets and economic sabotage. The explosion at the water pipeline was the work of saboteurs, investigators said, and the fire along the pipeline appeared suspicious as well."
Call me cynical, but I think they're tired of losing ten guerrillas for every coalition casualty they inflict, and water mains and pipelines are less likely to shoot back. Of course, Jim Dunnigan beat me to that thought by a day:
"The Baath Party appears to be shifting it's efforts from American troops, who have been increasingly successful in defeating these attacks, to destruction of civilian infrastructure and intimidation of Iraqi civilians."Dunnigan goes on to say the first thing I thought of when I heard about the attacks--that the saboteurs are only hurting Joe Six-cup-of-tea Iraqi:
"Coalition mass media is constantly pointing out the need for Iraqis to choose which side they are on and act. Increasing cooperation from Iraqi civilians, in terms of information and volunteers for local security and rebuilding projects, has apparently also attracted the attention of the Baath Party leaders. The Baath plan to create chaos and a general uprising against the coalition (which Baath would exploit to return to power), won't work if the Iraqi population unites against Baath."Posted by Chris at August 18, 2003 11:45 AM