By Adrian Duyzer
Published November 29, 2006
(First published on Ade's blog)
The daily stories out of Iraq are so gruesome and brutally violent that I have, horribly, become accustomed to them. Car bombings, kidnappings, the discovery of dozens of tortured bodies dumped in a Baghdad suburb: I haven't linked to stories like these on this blog for months now.
But last Friday a headline caught my eye: Hundreds killed, injured in Baghdad blasts, it read.
"Hundreds!" I thought. In fact, it was the worst bombing in Baghdad since the American invasion of that country, with a final death toll of 215 people in a mainly Shi'ite neighbourhood.
The next day was time for revenge. Shi'ite militiamen captured six Sunni Muslims as they left Friday prayers, doused them in kerosene and burned them alive. More attacks that day killed another 19 Sunnis.
Nearby Iraqi soldiers did nothing. These are the soldiers the United States has trained, the ones that need to "stand up" before the United States "stands down". Mostly Shi'ites themselves, they likely felt that the Sunnis got what they deserved that day.
Life in Iraq, the most dangerous country on earth, is now defined by fear. Civilians are being killed at a rate of well more than 100 per day.
Meanwhile, the American establishment frets and mutters and weighs options, slowly. "American fortunes," moans the New York Times, "are ever more dependent on feuding Iraqis who seem, at times, almost heedless to American appeals".
Once mighty, America is now reduced to making appeals to which no one listens. American foreign policy journals and newspaper op-ed pages are filled with new plans and proposals - the latest is to divide Iraq into three separate regions in a loose federation - but none seem to recognize that a plan without potency is no plan at all.
Reality continues to defy these thinkers and policy-makers. They don't realize the war in Iraq is already lost. They pour ink onto paper in America while blood pours on the streets of Iraq.
The ultimate truth, that America has no right to make plans for Iraq, never occurs to them.
The pretense that America must stay in Iraq to protect the Iraqis from themselves must be dropped. Iraq's fate is no longer in American hands. The sooner that is recognized the better off everyone will be.
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