Monday, September 11, 2006


Washington Post story: Anbar Is Lost Politically

Nearly a week ago I posted Has the US lost control over 1/3 of Iraq? citing a web article that asserted US forces have lost control of the area to the west of Baghdad, including Fallujah, Ramadi and other towns which would together comprise about 1/3 of the country.

Today's Washington Post story Situation Called Dire in West Iraq
Anbar Is Lost Politically, Marine Analyst Says
The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there.

.  .  .

The "very pessimistic" statement, as one Marine officer called it, was dated Aug. 16 and sent to Washington shortly after that, and has been discussed across the Pentagon and elsewhere in national security circles. "I don't know if it is a shock wave, but it's made people uncomfortable," said a Defense Department official who has read the report. Like others interviewed about the report, he spoke on the condition that he not be identified by name because of the document's sensitivity.
The article is worth reading in its entirety, especially in light of Bush Administration posturing as the November elections approach.

Forecast: Category 5 hurricane to hit Washington

I don't think we'll hear much from Republicans about "turning the corner in the next six months" for awhile. Robert Dryfuss wrote on Friday in Iraq's Reality Sinks In about the Administration's loss of confidence in its Iraq invasion:
President Bush strutted confidently last year in advance of the December Iraqi elections, brashly predicting that U.S. victory is just around the corner. Then, in the spring, after the bombing of the Golden Dome in Samarra, the president shifted to a kind of gritted-teeth forced optimism as the shaky government of Prime Minister Maliki took shape amid intensifying sectarian violence. Now, as Iraqi deaths mount at the rate of 3,000 per month, Bush has all but abandoned talk of victory and is reduced to issuing scary pronouncements about what failure in Iraq would mean.

.  .  .

What’s happening in Washington now is that the establishment political class—and that includes the military, moderate Republican and Democratic members of Congress, the jabbering pundits and op-ed writers, and the bulk of the thinktank denizens—are coming to grips with the stark fact that the war in Iraq is over. And that the United States has lost. It’s beginning to sink in, but it won’t be confronted directly by the political class until after the November elections. After that, all hell is going to break loose. If the Democrats win back Congress, it will happen faster—but even if the Republicans hang on, the gusting winds on Iraq now buffeting the White House will gather strength to become a full-fledged, Category 5 hurricane.


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