April 07, 2005

Afghanization Proceeding Apace

It sucks to always be posting bad news out of Iraq. More to the point, it sucks to post random bad news that may or may not mean anything. For instance, that big insurgent offensive against Abu Ghraib? Who knows what it means. Maybe Zarqawi really is mastering some dangerous new tactics. Or maybe he's desperate for attention. I have no idea.

But this Los Angeles Times story noting that provincial governments around the country are steeped in chaos, well, that really does seem telling. The central Baghdad government, also note, still refuses to devolve power, which could create strong separatist backlashes in some provinces, especially down in the conservative south. And this business down in an-Najaf sounds horrendous: the security forces under the previous U.S.-appointed Gov. Adnan Zurfi, who was recently voted out of power in favor of a SCIRI government, are now attacking local police stations. What the fuck? Again, more signs that the most likely fate for Iraq, sadly, is going to be Afghanistan-style warlordism. The insurgency will dampen down somewhat, and there won't be a civil war, but roving militias and criminal gangs will hold sway, the rule of the RPG will prevail, and most people's lives will be miserable-to-barely-tolerable. Especially women. I hope I'm wrong, but the tea leaves are speaking in big block-cap letters here.
-- Brad Plumer 3:59 AM || ||