Iraq Press Roundup Tom Engelhardt

Iraq Press Roundup

Tom Engelhardt writes about “Withdrawal Symptoms”— the increasing urge of Americans to get out of Iraq and the arguments for it.

Jesse Jackson is eloquent on the need to rebuild America first. (I have often said that Bush is willing to spend over a billion dollars a week in Iraq, but just a billion a year might have brought Detroit back to its feet.)

Only 33 percent of Americans are satisfied with Bush’s handling of Iraq, down from 36 percent three weeks ago, according to a Princeton Survey poll.

Two lives destroyed by Abu Ghraib are profiled in Der Spiegel.

The BBC’s John Simpson comments on the real danger of al-Qaeda.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat says that the US military formally turned responsibility for security inside the city of Baghdad over to the Iraqi Sixth Division on Monday. This is the third such turnover in the past month or so– it began with Najaf and then Karbala. But Najaf and Karbala are relatively quiet and the Badr Corps militia of the Shiites can hope to provide a sort of thuggish security in those two religious shrine cities. In contrast, Baghdad is among the most insecure cities on earth, with constant shootings and bombings, and many of its Sunni Arab neighborhoods are in the hands of guerrillas. The new government has been powerless to assert itself in its own capital. Under these circumstances, what can be the significance of the US military retiring to barracks outside Baghdad? It surely is an admission of failure and a species of surrender. But in my view it is mainly just pro forma, since the insecurity in the capital will surely pull the Americans right back in.

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