As the bribes to keep the Sunnis pacified come unraveled, the other shoe may be dropping: the potential , long anticipated intra-Shiite civil war in the South. Meanwhile the Sunni "good guys" that we are bribing to defeat Jihadists in Anbar are behaving like ... Iraqis:
The security that has been achieved here is fragile, the result of harsh tactics recalling the rule of Saddam Hussein...Even as they work alongside U.S. forces, Zobaie's men admit they have beaten and tortured suspects to force confessions and exact revenge.
His men, he added, abuse suspects because "they don't surrender easily. They don't confess. They say: 'I am innocent. I haven't done anything.' They start to defend themselves."
Iraq's eternal return to torture and brutality may be resuming its usual pace after a pause. The difference now is that America has now also done some of the torturing itself and is now paying others to do the same. Every occupier of Iraq will get a little Saddamism in his bloodstream after a while. Apart from rising levels of violence, the entrenchment of Iranian power across most of the country, no lee-way to draw down surge troops, and scant sign of serious national reconciliation, the surge is a success. Oh, and oil is over $100 a barrel for the foreseeable future. It's only in situations like these that a president like Bush can say:
“I have vowed in the past, and I will vow so long as I’m president, to make sure that those lives were not lost in vain; that, in fact, there is a outcome that will merit the sacrifice that civilian and military alike have made; that our strategy going forward will be aimed at making sure that we achieve victory."
(Photo: Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty.)