Friday, November 23, 2007


Chuck Adkins is right on the mark here:

We’re just in too big of damned hurry for this war to be over. It takes time, a long time for something like this to be finished. The insurgents were not defeated, just set back a little. This shows that very clearly.

How can anyone read the ghastly details of today's cowardly attack on a pet market and not want to wring the necks of the thugs who planned and executed it?

The blast sent dogs scattering in the streets and neglected chicks chirping near pools of blood as vendors rushed to help the wounded.

The victims behave like heroes. Even the animals continue to suffer in dumb nobility. The attackers are so far below both as to hardly constitute the same life form.

Too much of the current American news media coverage of Iraq is about Americans. That's inevitable, given the market-driven media. But it's not the pulse of the story now. There is no steady percentage of news coverage that ought to be devoted to any one topic. And in the past I've complained that the media was paying too little attention to the average American troops and what they did day in and day out in Iraq.

That's still true. But since the "surge" is a topic of controversy, and a topic with domestic political consequences, it absorbs the attention of the media. Everything that happens in Iraq tends to be seen in terms of the "surge."

But as wiser observers, with longer-range vision know, Iraq is going to be saved by Iraqis, or not at all. And what their army is doing in these weeks and months of relative stability is as important as what ours is doing. There are signs that this is happening as we should hope it will:

[T]he real surge in Iraq is happening behind the scenes. The rapidly expanding Iraqi Army is where the real surge in forces is occurring.

As our friend Kat, who has been there and seen the evolution of the place, pointed out in a comment recently, for the average Iraqi with a family, it comes down to a question of survival. Even if they want to stand up for their country, there's no point in doing that if a gang of thugs is waiting to gun you down and nothing will stop them. But if there's an army and a police force armed and capable of keeping the thugs at bay, then you've got a chance. Then your country has a chance.

It can be the American military in the short term. But not forever.

So, see if the newfound cooperation between the occupiers and many of their former enemies in Iraq can pay off. See if the murderers in the pet market -- who, by one account, hid their bomb in a "box of small birds" -- doves, perhaps? -- can walk the streets and smirk at the mourners of their victims. Or if they pay for their crimes as, in any just reality, they should.