This piece inside the Times mentions (in passing) one of the key problems for the U.S. in Iraq (and maybe one of the symptoms of things not going well): We're basically flying blind--with nowhere near enough intel--and don't have enough translators:
Just after nightfall Wednesday, another raid raised questions about the effectiveness of American intelligence here. Acting on a tip that a group of farm houses was the site of mortar launchings directed at a nearby power plant, a swarm of marines, soldiers and armored vehicles stormed into the area.
An explosive charge was used to blow open the door of one building when no one answered a knock. The building turned out to be deserted. But in an adjacent structure, the soldiers found a frightened family of eight huddled in one room.
The head of the family, a middle-aged man who said his name was Abd Jassin Hamid, stood in front of the others, who squatted in a corner. But when asked by a reporter in broken Arabic whether there were mujahedeen in the area, Mr. Hamid's son, Adnan, stepped forward and said in English, "No, no, no, no, no."
As the armed American soldiers stood about waiting for an interpreter, Adnan and his father made digging motions, indicating in pantomime that they were only farmers.
In another building a woman and six children squatted outside the front door, watching in apparent shock as the Americans, wearing night-vision goggles, trooped into their house. There was one man inside. He identified himself as Mr. Jassin and nervously showed the Americans around his house. They found one automatic rifle and a magazine of ammunition, which are allowed for personal protection.
Still, Mr. Jassin plaintively offered to explain why he had the weapon. "Ali Baba fil Iraq!" he said, meaning that there were thieves in Iraq, hardly a controvertible assertion, and that he needed the gun for protection.
The Americans indicated that they had found no reason to suspect the farmers of insurgent activity, yet they returned in force the next day to check out some of the other buildings in the complex. The family filed out of yet another house as two well-kept calves grazed in a shady pen.
Again nothing was found, and because no interpreter was available, one of the soldiers, who had a shotgun dangling from a belt outfitted with shotgun shells along with his other weaponry, struggled to find a way to say they were leaving. "All I know is 'shukran,' " he said, turning to his buddies and using the Arabic word for thank you.
It was suggested that he could say, "Ma'a salama," the traditional words for goodbye.
"I can't learn all that stuff," the soldier said, walking away and using a strong expletive.