Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Move to Chaos

An article in the NYT today describes a military briefing today with the graphic below. According to the NYT: "The slide includes a color-coded bar chart that is used to illustrate an “Index of Civil Conflict.” It shows a sharp escalation in sectarian violence since the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra in February, and tracks a further worsening this month despite a concerted American push to tamp down the violence in Baghdad."So what's the option? A good editorial in the Economist (subscription but they offer free day passes) discusses the various options, such as pulling out, and concludes that the only option is for the U.S. to stay in, essentially as peacekeepers between warring factions or the chaos we're seeing now will be nothing like the chaos we'll see in the future. They say: "Leaving now stands a fair chance of plunging Iraq into an enlarged war and a far bigger bloodbath than anything seen so far." And they conclude: "Even if it was a mistake to blunder into Iraq, it would be a bigger mistake, bordering on a crime, for a nation that aspires to greatness to blunder out now, without first having exhausted every possible effort to put Iraq back together and avert a wider war."

Not sure if we have any good options. Seems chaos in every direction.
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