Losing Bush’s War

Krugman in today’s NYTimes:

“Ever since the uprising in April, the Iraqi town of Fallujah has in effect been a small, nasty Islamic republic. But what about the rest of the Sunni Triangle?
Last month a Knight-Ridder report suggested that U.S. forces were effectively ceding many urban areas to insurgents. Last Sunday The Times confirmed that while the world’s attention was focused in Najaf, western Iraq fell firmly under rebel control…
[snip]

Other towns, like Samarra, have also fallen. Attacks on oil pipelines are proliferating. And we’re still playing whack-a-mole with Moqtada al-Sadr: his Mahdi Army has left Najaf, but remains in control of Sadr City, with its two million people. The Christian Science Monitor reports that interviews in Baghdad suggest that Sadr is walking away from the standoff with a widening base and supporters who are more militant than before.”

Bush may have said recently that he “doesn’t want to be a War President,” but that doesn’t mean a damn thing. He started this war, and if there is one thing that is a pretty sure bet in America, it is that people will accept a War President only so long as he is winning the war. Bush may well have lost Iraq altogether; he may have created the perfect conditions for the establishment of another fundamentalist Islamic regime in the heart of the middle east. The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, as well. This is all standard operating procedure for George W. Bush – he has a history of taking over organizations, running them into the ground, and walking away. And just like always, it’s going to be up to someone else to try to clean up after the Miserable Failure. I just hope there’s something left to work with once the full extent of the damage is revealed.

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