In this and several other items, Jim notes the convolutions and wanderings of our various nominal allies in Iraq. He's also noted that when sheiks explode, those who are there are there, and those who aren't, aren't. This is to say that animosity in Iraq doesn't sit on the neat triangular diagram that's come to represent this conflict. The phrase, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," isn't true, but truistic. As I've said before, the more likely scenario is that the enemy of my enemy means we're ALL fucking enemies.
To drive the point home, the Times notes that:
The violence is also causing American deaths. U.S. military officials said a soldier was killed during combat operations Wednesday when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in eastern Baghdad. Four soldiers were injured. On Tuesday, a Marine was killed in combat in al-Anbar Province west of the capital, the military reported Wednesday."A show of force meant to raise the sense of security and lower the rate of violence in the capital." Now there's an extraordinary statement. Leaving aside the plain fact that this has achieved exactly the opposite of its intended effect, the slogan by itself typifies the peverse mindset of our authoritarians. When does a "show of force" ever, anywhere, "raise the sense of security." This is not the neighborhood cop tipping his hat as he strolls on by. This is the SWAT team breaking down your neighbor's door in the middle of the night: not comforting--loud, disruptive, terrifying.
Those deaths brought to 92 the number of U.S. troops killed so far in June. There have been 322 U.S. casualties in Iraq since the beginning of April, making the last three months the most deadly period for U.S. forces since the war began in March 2003.
U.S. officials have warned that troop fatalities were expected to spike this summer with the surge of 28,500 additional U.S. soldiers in high-profile positions in and around Baghdad -- a show of force meant to raise the sense of security and lower the rate of violence in the capital. Violence dipped for a while after extra troops started arriving in February, but recent data shows that some kinds of attacks and killings are back to January's pre-surge levels.
U.S. casualty rates also are on the rise because the additional troops are engaging in higher visibility patrols at the same time that insurgents are fighting back with larger numbers of ever-more-powerful and sophisticated roadside bombs, the leading killer of U.S. troops in Iraq.
I think we all recall with slight horror and minor nausea the once-popular notion that George W. Bush was going to be the "CEO President." (Fucks the shareholders. Takes his big payout. Retires to a ranch.) No one was especially keen to grapple with the question of what the fuck it was supposed to mean, but on its bare ruined choirs of a meaning, there hung a connotative fog suggesting something vaguely businesslike, dispassionate, and efficient. Any such sense rests perilously on the odd lionization of the American business model, which is neither much of a business nor much of a model. But to the extent that any sense of Bush's innate corporatism remains in force, one reading of our Iraqi muddle is that a deeply wrong and monumentally flawed project has been directed by people for whom the phrase "human resources" is something other than a cruel, Brechtian joke about the condition of man. Consider how closely American efforts at discerning allies in Iraq resemble the fevered organizational charting that follows any office upheaval. All our efforts in this regard are nomenclatural, but we treat the names like fetishes. None of the titles has any independent meaning, and Bob in Finance on the fifth floor still thinks that Janice in Marketing on the fourth is a towering bitch and probably stealing his bagels. Revenge.