Wednesday, September 15, 2004
From Colin Freeman of the Scotsman (courtesy of Juan Cole):
Today, with both Ayad Allawi's new government and its coalition backers losing control of the country, it is hard to imagine why anybody bothered with such constitutional conjuring.
No force ever attacks when its foes expect it to: instead, as yesterday’s carnage and that of recent weeks shows, the real post-hand-over violence is only truly under way now.
The fact remains that this is now the second time, after April’s initial insurrection, that Iraq has listed towards total anarchy. Indeed, a two-month-on, two-month-off pattern of violence was predicted by some coalition commanders long ago . . . .
To see how the situation has deteriorated one only needs to be reminded of the bullish confidence of coalition commanders in Iraq a year ago. Back then reporters were admonished if they talked of "no-go zones": the coalition presence, and with it the rule of law, extended to every corner of the country.
Nowadays, by comparison, even British troops in the relatively quiet southern sector have all but conceded certain hostile towns.
The prospect of a "super rogue state", as raised in recent days by Iraq’s new UN ambassador Samir Sum-aida'ie, is no longer a distant nightmare but an approaching possibility.