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November 25, 2006

MORE NEWS FROM ANBAR, at The Mudville Gazette.

And there's more here, including a complaint that the rules of engagement are leaving U.S. forces "hamstrung."

UPDATE: Reader Nicholas Klemen emails:

I want to point out a huge difference between Iraq and Vietnam that people fail to mention. In Vietnam, we had one powerful enemy, and our defeat assured the communist victory.

In Iraq, there are at least 5 major warring factions, perhaps more. Kurds, secular Sunnis, fundie Sunnis, nationalist Shia, and Iranian-backed Shia. Even if we haven't won this round, neither has anyone else. This war isn't over...not be a longshot. That doesn't mean we need to stay and occupy, but we can pick winners and use diplomacy to guide the result of the civil war into a democracy.

I don't know if we can pick winners, but we may be able to pick a couple of losers, which may be good enough. (Seeing that the right people lose is important, after all). The Sunnis seem to have picked themselves as losers, and to be doing their best to ensure that they'll be driven out of the country in response to their campaign of terror.

UPDATE: I don't think that what's happening to the Sunnis is a good thing; I just think they've brought it on themselves by foolishly stirring up a civil war that they can't win. They haven't been as canny as I'd hoped. What's going on now is a political, not a military problem -- we'd rather it were a military problem because we're better at military matters than politics -- and it will require an Iraqi political solution. The Sunnis, however, seem to me to have ensured that it will be a solution that they don't like.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A more detailed, and positive, take at The Mudville Gazette.