Freedom is on the march

Oh, what a lovely war.

Baghdad Bombings Kill 35 Children
(AP) – Bombs exploded near a U.S. convoy in western Baghdad on Thursday, killing 35 children and seven adults, a hospital official said. Hours earlier, a suicide car bomb killed a U.S. soldier and two Iraqis on the capital’s outskirts. The day of violence left a total of 46 people dead and 208 wounded. The bombs in Baghdad’s al-Amel neighborhood caused the largest death toll of children in any insurgent attack since the conflict began 17 months ago.

Update: Whoever really wants to understand why things are so grim, so desperate, must read the words of one of the war’s most outspoken and dedicated fans, someone who beat the drum louder than any other blogger. Here’s what he says now; please read it carefully.

The reason I believe things are dire in Iraq is pretty simple. The evidence is accumulating that the insurgency – fostered by Baathist thugs, al Qaeda murderers, and other Jihadists – is gaining traction. That would be a manageable problem if the population despised them and saw a way through to a better society. But the disorder and mayhem continues to delegitimize the Iraqi government and, by inference, the coalition occupation. And the inability or unwillingness of the U.S. to seal the borders or effectively counter the terror contributes to the general view that the insurgents are going to win, and therefore the notion that the U.S.-led liberation may make matters even worse than they were before. And this is a vicious cycle. In other words, one reason the insurgency is spreading is because it has tacit support or merely passive acceptance among the general population. And once the general population turns against an occupying power, then things get really … Algerian. The key moment was probably when George W. Bush blinked in Fallujah. That was when the general population inferred that we were not prepared to win. It’s amazing, really. This president has a reputation for toughness and resolution. Yet at arguably the most critical moment in this war, he gave in. He was for taking Fallujah before he was against it. I cannot believe the situation is beyond rescue. But this president’s policies have made it much much more difficult than it might have been. Elections are now more vital than ever – because they are the sole means of gaining the advantage in the legitimacy stakes. With those must come a relentless guerrilla war against the enemy, a massive increase in troop levels (whether Iraqi or America), and a huge effort for reconstruction. But we have thrown away a year’s worth of opportunity. By incompetence and lack of will. Fallujah was a kind of Dunkirk. And Bush is no Churchill.

Tell me again, why should we vote for bush?

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

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