Where are we going Walt Whitman? Our country has gridlocked itself in a civil war. Four and a half years after we invaded Iraq, we have one hundred and thirty thousand troops in the country at a cost of three hundred million dollars a day. The 2008 budget will alot 200 billion for the war, at over half a billion a day. The war has lasted longer than the Civil War and our involvement in Vietnam. We could have funded universal health care many times over with what we have spent on this war.
The administration is declaring the situation improved, citing once tumultuous neighborhoods in Anbar and Baghdad to be improved. The new found quiet of these neighborhoods is the result of ethnic cleansing.
We are sitting in the middle of a civil war that seems destined to continue until there is a massive population relocation or a change of heart. Iraqi politicians seem incapable of bringing peace. As American soldiers die, they go on vacation rather than create a solution to bring a solution that would hasten our departure.
Iraq was nothing more than a flimsy colonial drawing with a strong man holding things together. A vacuum was created, with violence reigning until a new power emerges. And our guy Maliki seems incapable of being that entity. Radical Chia cleric Muktada al Sadr is a stronger figure, as he already controls much of the health infrastructure.
Not only does a three state partition seem inevitable, but infighting within the new entitites is also a very real possibility. Currently three Shia militias are fighting amongst each other in the Southern coastal area of Basra.
Leaving Iraq could initiate bloodshed. But the same people who said that the Iraqis would greet us in the streets are warning against genocide. Should we still be listening to them? Perhaps retreating and rebuilding our reputation from scratch is our only way to progress.