BAD NEWS DEPARTMENT….If you feel like reading some really pessimistic views of Iraq, check out Juan Cole (“This looks to me like an incipient collapse of the US government of Iraq”) and Josh Marshall, who has an email from a security contractor working in Iraq (“The boldness and sophistication of the attacks is staggering”).

On a related note, as near as I can tell the analogy-thon has now barreled completely past Vietnam and is trying to make up its mind between Lebanon and the West Bank. My money is on Iraq turning into the West Bank writ large.

UPDATE: For a cheerier view, of course, check out David Brooks’ much blogged column today. Note, however, that even he says, “If people like Sistani are forced to declare war on the U.S., the gates of hell will open up.” We’ll be watching, David.

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