In Iraq, we're hoist on the PNAC petard

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  1. I’m curious, when u say “spiraling” out of control, does that mean that the situation has really been getting worse? By a spiral motion I picture a gradual negative turn. To me, it isn’t getting any worse, its just not getting better, or better overall. For any improvement that seems to happen here and there, something degenerates somewhere else. The Iraqis are still exploding (with democracy of course) despite our rebuiliding of and mainting a major infrastructure.
    We’re really good at maintaining the status quo over there, but that isn’t where we want to be or feel safe enough to leave it.
    Calling what is going on over there a civil war seems like an easy rationalization of the continued violence. Its an easy explanation of what someone is trying to achieve. But it makes the assumption that some group is trying to take over the other’s control of the government. There are too many reasons for the various acts done to “simplify” it to a civil war. Some of the attacks on us are just because someone wants us gone, they feel occupied and want a foreign military to leave. Some of the acts are from anarchists who wouldn’t be satisified with any government, some are from groups that want their section of the country to be independent, to not be part of the current government at all. And how can we even rule out that certain attacks are obviously placed to stoke the fire between two types of religious groups? Groups that hate each other all over the middle east, not just in Iraq. If it is a regional hatred, that isn’t really a civil war issue isolated to a single country.

  2. Hi Jack — Up until pretty recently, I agreed with you that things had held at about the same level for some time. But when the violence started turning more and more internal (rather than just the insurgents targeting the Americans), my view of things started to change. (That’s when I wrote the “civil war” post linked above.)
    What actually laid the mental foundation for this particular post, though, is this article from the Telegraph: Mortars let fly as Iraq draws first front line of civil war. For the last couple of months, but most particularly in the last two weeks, it looks much different there to me.
    Of course, to say it “looks” like anything is misleading, since I’m not there, but here. Even Stratfor, though — as impartial an analysis source as I know, has been projecting fewer positive possibilities lately. All by itself, that would have worried me.
    After this post went up yesterday, al-Sistani finally called upon the Shi’ite death squads to stop killing Sunnis. The Sunnis themselves, of course, are also locked in the “revenge killing” cycle. It’s potentially very helpful that the call to cease has finally gone out; let’s hope it puts some breaks on the situation.

  3. To me, PNAC petard is working to find the belly of the beast.
    We are in year five, according to “our side’s” calculations, of a war that’s expected to last a minimum of 13 years, more probably 25 years.
    Hard to see the big picture when you’re transfixed by the signature in the corner.

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