Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Things can always get worse...

The radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr called for a national uprising against American and coalition forces today as a two-month truce between Mr. Sadr and the United States military collapsed.
Maybe I'm overreacting, but I'm thinking this marks the end of any hope that the coalition can turn things around and move Iraq to some semblance of normalcy under the puppet regime. Either the coalition backs off in the face of the uprising, which will eventually lead to local control of almost all of Iraq, or more likely they'll respond with obscene firepower, killing hundreds or thousands and convincing just about every Iraqi that resistance is the only thing that isn't futile.

In the short term, this is bad news for Iraq, since the already high casualty rate is almost certain to increase. In the longer term, this may just be getting on with what is bound to happen at some point. If they succeed in getting the coalition to back off, they may start to carve out a better future.

Similarly, for America it is bad news in the short term. Casualties are almost certain to increase, as is anti-American sentiment around the world and the threat of terrorism. Then again, eventually someone besides George W. Bush will be president, and eventually that someone will understand that withdrawal is not only an option, but the only one. Having the Iraq version of the Tet offensive before the election may convince Americans that we need regime change here, and may convince Kerry that a change in policy is needed as well. Unfortunately, W doesn't have the common sense of his predecessor LBJ to step aside, and Americans seem to be substantially stupider now than they were in 1968. They've shown remarkable resilience to the onslaught of evidence demonstrating the stupidity and criminality of the Bush administration--will they be able to ignore the apocalypse about to happen in Iraq?