Reality in Iraq v. the Bush Administration
From today’s NYTimes:
Account of Broad Shiite Revolt Contradicts White House Stand
United States forces are confronting a broad-based Shiite uprising that goes well beyond supporters of one militant Islamic cleric who has been the focus of American counterinsurgency efforts, United States intelligence officials said Wednesday. That assertion contradicts repeated statements by the Bush administration and American officials in Iraq.
… American intelligence officials now believe that hatred of the American occupation has spread rapidly among Shiites, and is now so large that Mr. Sadr and his forces represent just one element. Meanwhile… United States intelligence says that the Sunni rebellion also goes far beyond former Baathist government members. Sunni tribal leaders, particularly in Al Anbar Province, home to Ramadi, the provincial capital, and Falluja, have turned against the United States and are helping to lead the Sunni rebellion, intelligence officials say.
The result is that the United States is facing two broad-based insurgencies that are now on parallel tracks.
A bit of perspective is in order. A year ago when Iraqis were fighting against the US, one could argue that they didn’t understand that the US was going to help the Iraqi people, and that once they found out that the US was there for their own good, the Iraqi people would be glad. (In fact, I vaguely remember statements to that effect by Rumsfeld et al., but don’t have a specific quote to give you.) But now we’ve been there for a year. They know exactly what to expect from the Bush administration’s governance of Iraq. In economists’ parlance, they pretty much have full information at this point. That makes this revolt all the more telling.
Why does the phrase “miserable failure” keep coming to mind?