Two and a half years after the American invasion, deep divides that have long split Iraqi society have violently burst into full view. As the hatred between Sunni Arabs and Shiites hardens and the relentless toll of bombings and assassinations grows, families are leaving their mixed towns and cities for safer areas where they will not automatically be targets. In doing so, they are creating increasingly polarized enclaves and redrawing the sectarian map of Iraq, especially in Baghdad and the belt of cities around it.
The saddest thing about this story is that there's nothing we can do about it. It's another illustration of why no military solution for Iraq exists.
And another reason why I'm so on board with what Congressman Jack Murtha says. Our troops have done the job we sent them over there to do. They can' t protect the Iraqis from each other, nor should they be expected to. Their presence in the country has gone well beyond the point of diminishing returns. We're not defeating terrorism by remaining in Iraq; we're throwing fuel on the fire.
Once the December elections are held and verified, excuses for "staying the course" will be hard to come by.
But I'm confident the Bush administration will make every effort to come up with new ones.