Sorry, blog

I know I've been lax lately. Much to do at work. Hopefully that will change this week. Anyhow, on to business:

Iraq: The fighting this week is pretty scary. I don't think we should get sucked into overstating how much of the country has been lost, as these are relatively isolated incidents. But that's not the point. This episode is going to have serious ramifications for what our future involvement there is going to look like, and so far the course has been less than encouraging. Just heard an estimate that 600 civilians (that matters even if they are participating in the insurgency) may have been killed in the assault on Falluja, including a number of women and children. Other reports, especially from the invaluable Juan Cole (if you feel like you don't know what's going on on the ground in Iraq, give a similar impression: that U.S. forces are dealing with weeding out the insurgency with full indiscriminate ruthlessness. Not that we should blame the soldiers, it is really fucking scary there right now and urban warfare is a brutal, bloody nightmare. But we shouldn't be in this position in the first place.

And we certainly shouldn't be treating this insurgency like an Al-Qaeda nest. No-prisoners tactics against the insurgents will and is losing us any benefit of public opinion at all levels and fast, and we don't exactly have a lot of that to lose anymore.


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