Monday, April 05, 2004

Iraq Around the Web

Josh Marshall is worried:

The news from Iraq today of scattered clashes between US/Coalition forces and armed crowds and Shia paramilitaries is the worst news to come out of Iraq for months...

It will be critical to see, in the coming days, whether this is one spasm of violence (organized by the young firebrand Muqtada Al-Sadr in response to being shut out of the political process by the Americans) which can be brought under control or whether this is the first day of a new phase of violence or even uprising.

The reality is that the US doesn't have anywhere enough soldiers in the country to control the place if there's this sort of widespread violence on an on-going basis. That could quickly lead to a vicious cycle which will put a virtual end to reconstruction and prevent the coming into being of any entity for us to hand the place off to. In Jefferson's ugly phrase, we may end up holding the wolf by the ears.

Even the conservative Andrew Sullivan is beginning to get the fear:

With three months to go before sovereignty is handed over to a provisional government, there are some nightmarish seems to me undeniable that events may be spinning out of control.

and the public seems to agree:

Public support for war in Iraq has been unaffected by the murders and desecration of the corpses of American citizens in Falluja. However, continued turmoil and violence in Iraq may be taking a toll on President Bush's approval ratings. More Americans now disapprove of the way he is doing his job than approve, though by only a slight margin (47% disapprove vs. 43% approve). Just four-in-ten approve of the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, his lowest rating ever and down from 59% in January.

Hopefully Iraq won't go reach the point of no return before some new national leadership can replace these irresponsible incompetents and/or certain persons concerned about their political fortunes which actually do something other than standing around and hoping the situation improves.


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