Saturday, April 10, 2004

The Rocket's red glare,

The View from Baghdad written by a Republican in country in Iraq has a picture of his friends sitting in lawnchairs watching the rockets impact the Greenzone in Baghdad.

He has these words:
I'm down to my last bag of coffee. In two weeks, I'll have to start drinking instant.

It could be time to pull out.

The Financial Times leads with rocket impacts on the Greenzone in Baghdad on their front page (see it while it's up)

I would like to post this song on behalf of all the Americans and Iraqis struggling to get through this and do the right thing in Iraq:

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Check out the Future of Iraq portal via the Healing Iraq blog for the list of bloggers Iraqi and foreigner in Iraq.

Needlenose as usual has good commentary and the Agonist blog agonizes over the news from Iraq.

Check out Col Lounsbury's ideas for how to improve Iraq and we can add the novel items to my own growing list of How to Salvage Iraq.

Meanwhile Glenn Reynolds completely loses perspective.

Yes, the casualties in a given day in WWII were horrendous. On the other hand, we were on full war footing, fighting a war in two oceans, three continents, against two of the greatest mobilized military nations of all time, faced with opponents who had technology comparable to or actually superior than our own, and who had already conquered Europe and China.

In Iraq we are facing at most a few thousand active fighters that we vastly outnumber and have greatly superior technology. The fact that we are already losing this many soldiers, and the implications of what would happen if a widespread Iraqi revolt were to occur then become frankly highly disturbing.

Like Holsinger he is the captive of numbers without perspective. If this Iraq situation heats up, and no matter what the Admin spin it's not been cooling down since day one, then we will in fact see those kinds of casualty figures that Glenn says dwarf present losses. This is why morons like this should not be in charge of lemonade stands much less the arsenal of superpowers.

Meanwhile, Tacitus "get's it".

Posted on Thu Apr 8th, 2004 at 11:07:52 AM EST
There are a few things to keep in mind as you watch the Shi'a uprising, now spiralling into oneness with the Sunni uprising, in Iraq. First and foremost, whatever spin you might hear, remember that this is pretty bad news indeed. Very, very bad news. Consider that if you are American, there is no open road to Baghdad from any of Iraq's neighboring countries. For the moment, CPA resupply is a triumph of airlift. Something to chew on. It's not the result of any one tragically wrong decision or miscalculation; rather, it's the end result of a year of accumulating bad calls and wishful thinking: disbanding the army plus not confronting Sadr plus giving the Shi'a a veto plus the premature policy of withdrawal from urban centers plus the undermanning of the occupation force (and the concurrent kneecapping of Shinseki) plus the setting of a ludicrously early "sovereignty" date plus the early tolerance of lawlessness and looting plus illusory reconstruction accomplishments plus etc., etc., etc. In short, the failure of the occupation to be an occupation in any sense that history and Arab peoples would recognize. Bad calls of such consistency are the product of a fundamentally bad system. More on that later.


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