General Lucy & The Pie Machine

The New York Times posts an article headlined General Sees Need for More U.S. Forces in Baghdad.

On Sunday, a Shia militia executed a brazen attack in which its men, in broad daylight, cordoned off a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad and pulled Sunni men, women and children from their cars and homes killing more than 40 and wounding scores more. The response to this incident by American forces and Iraqi police was – to be charitable – slow. Now General Casey acknowledges – duh – that more troops are needed in Baghdad to provide security.

Yet, notice that the article does not say where Casey intends to get the extra troops. I doubt he is calling for more troops to be brought into Iraq so I assume he is talking about moving troops from other parts of Iraq to Baghdad. This will simply result in other pies hitting the floor or, in other words, where we are not present to keep the security, insecurity will arise.

Props, though, to General Casey for openly taking on both the Sunnis and Shiites involved in the sectarian violence – referring to them as “terrorists and death squads.” Maybe the Right can finally concede the existence of Shiite death squads with connections to the Iraqi government. Yet, mere recognition of a problem isn’t a solution and I fail to see how moving troops around will confront the awesome problem of Iraqi militias.

I would also note Zalmay Khalilzad’s stark assessment that “communal bloodshed was now the single biggest challenge to American and Iraqi forces, overtaking the three-year-old Sunni Arab insurgency as the biggest source of instability.” That’ll make a Righty’s head spin. Remember when we were being rocked to sleep with the calm reassurance that the violence in Iraq was simply the result of some dead-ender Baathists going through their final death throes.

Now we get this disturbing thought – “communal bloodshed” has overtaken insurgency.

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