Mohammed Fadhil notes that many Baghdadis are voting with their feetin terms of the success of the ongoing battle to pacify the war-torn city. The stream of refugees out of the city has dropped and in some cases reversed as visible signs of US power continue to intimidate militants and US and Iraqi strikes continue to debilitate the enemy’s ability to strike.
The problem is that even a successful campaign can’t completely stop the violence in Baghdad. Such atrocities as the recent market bombing don’t signal that the “insurgency” is winning, just that such tactics are too easy to pull off. It takes no skill to load a car full of explosives and detonate it in a crowd — and we’re going to see things like that happening for quite a while.
What we can see is a sharp decrease in attacks in Baghdad and a general sense among the population that things are indeed getting better.
We should have been doing this earlier, but late is better than never. We’re taking the right steps to get Iraq under control, but it’s a race against time as the political will back home continues to erode. The lesson of this war may well be that the supreme bravery of our soldiers is no match for the weakness of our national character — and that is something that should be of concern to this country even after this war has become history.