Matt Yglesius is right to point this out:
The recent acts of terrorism, such as the bombing of the U.N. headquarters and the mosque in Najaf, show a couple of things. First, that Iraq is still a dangerous place. They also show, I think, the desperation — the desperation of the adversaries that we face. We’re actively engaged in rooting out this threat with more and more Iraqis coming forward with information and a willingness to help us.
— Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, September 9, 2003.
You’ll see the threat go to, again, more suicide attacks, vehicle- borne IEDs, which I think shows desperation for both so they can get themselves in the news so people around the world can see them, and to show that they are in fact frustrated that they can’t really make an impact any other way.
— Major General Raymond T. Odierno, January 22, 2004 .
We have said for quite a while that one of the signs not only of desperation on the part of the terrorists and the former regime elements but also, quite frankly, the cowardice of these forces is that, in opposition to six months ago, when many of the attacks — most of the attacks were against the coalition forces, we have seen over the past few months that they are starting to go after softer targets. That is a concern of ours, but it also ought to demonstrate the desperation of these people because they decide, rather than attack coalition forces and Iraqi security forces, they’ll attack women that are working for the coalition, washing clothes to make their lives better.
— Coalition Provisional Authority senior adviser Dan Senor, March 31, 2004.[General Thomas Metz] said that the recent run of gruesome suicide bombings, which have killed dozens of civilians, was a measure of desperation among the insurgents, who have put forward no political vision beyond expelling the Americans.
— The New York Times., January 6, 2005