At Street Level, Unmet Goals of Troop Buildup
BAGHDAD, Sept. 8 — Seven months after the American-led troop “surge” began, Baghdad has experienced modest security gains that have neither reversed the city’s underlying sectarian dynamic nor created a unified and trusted national government.
. . . The troop increase was meant to create conditions that could lead from improved security in Baghdad to national reconciliation to a strong central government to American military withdrawal. In recent weeks, President Bush and his commanders have shifted their emphasis to new alliances with tribal leaders that have improved security in Diyala Province, the Sunni Triangle and other Sunni areas, most notably Anbar Province. . .
Which is very similar to the Chicago Police shifting their emphasis away from fighting criminal gangs to making new alliances with the Black P-Stone Nation or whoever is the power on the bad streets in Chicago at the moment.
The chilling photograph that accompanies the article gives just a small idea of what it is like on the street where you live in Baghdad today. Walking to the street in front of your house with your young daughter, you encounter a Darth Vader-type armed American (who cannot speak your language) pointing a weapon at you and nervously fingering the trigger.
He is afraid and you are afraid. That is the definition of ‘improved security’ in Baghdad.
I suspect that there is not even 1% of Iraqis that would not, if they could, restore Saddam Hussein in order to
- Bring home the fled and broken families
- Restore to life those who have been blown into an early grave
- Enjoy the neighborhoods where Shia and Sunni lived in harmony, if not love
- Get a little reliable electric power, water and sewer service
- Care for their garden in an un-blasted city
- Shop without fear, fly kites and enjoy an ice-cream with the children. Buy a book.