Thursday, April 17, 2008

Disaster in Iraq

The war in Iraq has, incredibly, gotten worse over the last month. From the local paper's excellent coverage ( The San Diego Union-Tribune) there were two excellent if depressing articles:

1. "Dozens killed by bombings in four cities." Nearly 60 people died. As the article stated (cannot find link) "the bloodshed struck directly at U.S. claims that the Sunni insurgency is waning and being replaced by Shiite militia violence as a major threat. The deadliest blasts took place in two cities where the U.S. military has claimed varying degrees of success in getting the Sunnis to turn against Al-Qaeda in Iraq." (Kim Gamel, AP).

2. "Against U.S. pleas, Iraqi soldiers flee posts." (Michael Gordon, New York Times). The justification -such as it is- for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq is that they would train the Iraqis to defend themselves and then we could depart. Alas, the Iraqis don't care enough to fight against al-Sadr. As the report put it: "Many of the American soldiers (were) wondering about the tenacity of their Iraqi allies."

I would not have used the word "allies", but OK. The point is that the Iraqis have no desire whatsoever to fight for us and never will. They do not want to take orders from foreigners directing them to kill their countrymen. When will our leaders wake up to the fact this occupation is a tragic waste of lives and money? Nothing is being accomplished. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winning economist, estimates that the war will cost $3 trillion when all is done. The words that come to mind are two: catastrophic mistake.

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