THE STATE OF IRAQ….The New York Times has the Brookings Institution’s semi-annual “State of Iraq” summary in today’s paper. Here’s a summary of the summary (I know you’re busy people):

  • Oil and electricity production: getting worse.

  • Car and telephone use: getting higher.

  • Public opinion: moving against us.

  • Number of trained Iraqi security forces: getting better.

  • Strength of insurgency: about the same.

The most striking data point is (presumably) a result of more cars and less oil: the average length of gasoline lines is now one mile (the same as it was six months ago, but ten times as high as 18 months ago). At a guess, that means the average line is about 300 cars long and the average wait time is at least five hours ? and probably more. Ouch.