This, I guess, is what happens when your country falls apart:

Large areas in the western parts of Baghdad were without running water on Thursday, in 120-degree summer heat. Officials blamed their inability to keep the water-purification and pumping stations going for the electricity shortages.

Many Baghdad residents complain that they have water for only a few hours a day, and sometimes no electricity at all.

Bob Gates has some choice words in the same report:

"We probably all underestimated the depth of the mistrust and how difficult it would be for these guys to come together on legislation, which, let's face it, is not some kind of secondary issue."

Well, not all of us under-estimated it. And it surely seems a secondary issue as far as Bush is concerned. He keeps pitching Iraq as a military battle against al Qaeda, when it is obviously, primarily, a civil war we have no political solution to. More discouraging, it seems to me that even Gates - a sane and sensible man - is becoming resigned to an indefinite occupation of Iraq. Washington's caution about leaving a war zone is understandable, of course. But it does not make the decision to stay grinding through an irrecoverable civil conflict any less foolish.

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