GEORGE BUSH’S LEGACY….Matt Yglesias says Nir Rosen’s piece about Iraq in the Sunday Washington Post is the “must-read of the day.” I suppose so:
I have spent nearly two of the three years since Baghdad fell in Iraq. On my last trip, a few weeks back, I flew out of the city overcome with fatalism. Over the course of six weeks, I worked with three different drivers; at various times each had to take a day off because a neighbor or relative had been killed. One morning 14 bodies were found, all with ID cards in their front pockets, all called Omar. Omar is a Sunni name. In Baghdad these days, nobody is more insecure than men called Omar. On another day a group of bodies was found with hands folded on their abdomens, right hand over left, the way Sunnis pray. It was a message. These days many Sunnis are obtaining false papers with neutral names. Sunni militias are retaliating, stopping buses and demanding the jinsiya, or ID cards, of all passengers. Individuals belonging to Shiite tribes are executed.
Believe it or not, it actually gets worse from there. Be sure to keep reading until you get to the part about the ministry of health.
Like Matt, a year ago I thought that an orderly and planned withdrawal of American troops had a chance ? a small one, but a chance ? of reducing tensions and producing a non-catastrophic outcome in Iraq. I don’t anymore. At this point, I’m mostly worried about what happens when Iraq’s low-level civil war turns into a full-scale, armies-on-both-sides-fighting-openly-in-the-streets civil war. Either we’ll try to do something about it, which will produce enormous casualties and probably have no effect, or else we’ll retreat to our “enduring bases” and hide. Either option will make clear to the world that the greatest military in the world is helpless.
That’s quite a legacy. I wonder who George Bush will try to blame it on?