Moving to a More Secure Camp
Daniel Williams of the Washington Post wonders if Iraq can be salvaged. The article is one of the more clear-eyed I have seen:
‘ “We could not imagine the deterioration leading to such a point. It’s getting worse day after day, and no one has been able to put an end to it. Who is going to protect the next government, no matter what kind it is?” said Abdul Jalil Mohsen, a former Iraqi general and member of the Iraqi National Accord . . ‘
‘ “There’s no question: A small band of people can paralyze the country,” said Mahmoud Othman, an independent Kurdish member of the council. “They are armed and organized and this is the difficulty. The people who did this have no respect for anything of value. It’s a real danger to Iraq, the Iraqis and to an agenda to achieve any kind of democracy.” ‘
‘ “Just look around,” said Bakran Ohan, who sells baby clothes. “Do you see any police? Any soldiers? There is a complete lack of security. It won’t change from day to night on June 30.” ‘
‘ [Gen.] Kimmit denied that the Italians had retreated [from Nasiriyah]. “They just moved to a more secure camp,” he said. ‘
One thing Williams does not bring up is the degree to which much of the turmoil is the direct result of poor American decision-making. The decision to dissolve the Iraqi army. The decision to try to arrest Muqtada al-Sadr. Decisions, the rationale of which most observers would have difficulty seeing. The whole Iraq enterprise has been run from the beginning as a plot, with no transparency and all kinds of ulterior motives, and that is what has sunk it.