I am not sure were could have done a better job of assuring a total civil war if we had been trying. While we have been watching the civil war grow, one aspect of the war in Iraq has fallen off our radar,the insurgency.
The first couple of years in Iraq the insurgents (dead-enders, terrorist, bathist etc) were the only game in town. The attacks by various factions upon US, Iraqi and other coalition forces were regular news items and an issue of grave concern to the US military. In the last few months these have all but disappeared from media coverage, only being mentioned in passing when announcing another US death. It was almost as if the insurgents had quit fighting us, to attack each other.
It appears that the reporters at the NY Times have themselves gotten curious about this and asked the military for an update. The answer was very depressing.
The number of roadside bombs planted in Iraq rose in July to the highest monthly total of the war, offering more evidence that the anti-American insurgency has continued to strengthen despite the killing of the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
In addition to record deaths in the civil war, the insurgency is also more active than ever before. While we have focused on the Iraqi vs Iraqi conflict, we in the US have forgotten about the Iraqi vs the US fight, but it is cleat that the Iraqi's have not.
"The insurgency has gotten worse by almost all measures, with insurgent attacks at historically high levels," said a senior Defense Department official who agreed to discuss the issue only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for attribution. "The insurgency has more public support and is demonstrably more capable in numbers of people active and in its ability to direct violence than at any point in time."
Where are we headed now?
Bush has rolled out lame excuse number 14 for why we are fighting in Iraq, now it is so they will not follow us home, indicating that stay the course (or what ever they are calling it this week) is the operational plan, at least the one for the public. Behind the scenes a new plan may be in the works.
"Senior administration officials have acknowledged to me that they are considering alternatives other than democracy," said one military affairs expert who received an Iraq briefing at the White House last month and agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.
"Everybody in the administration is being quite circumspect," the expert said, "but you can sense their own concern that this is drifting away from democracy."
A true indication of the level of failure we are talking about here.
Establishing a despotic strong man to rule a nation that was led by a despotic strong man we removed is assured to future harden the anti-US view of the residents of the Middle East.
and it appears, this is where we are now headed.