Thursday, May 19, 2005

Turning point in Iraq?

We've heard so much about turning points in Iraq.

  • May 2003: the end of "major combat"
  • December 2003: capturing Saddam
  • June 2004: return of "sovereignty"
  • January 2004: national elections
  • April 2004: forming a government

Now Kevin Drum informs us that there have been 126 car bombings in Baghdad in the last 80 days, as compared with 25 in all of 2004. American military planners now concede we'll be in Baghdad for "many years":

In Baghdad, a senior [American] officer said Wednesday in a background briefing that the 21 car bombings in Baghdad so far this month almost matched the total of 25 in all of last year.

Against this, he said, there has been a lull in insurgents' activity in Baghdad in recent days after months of some of the bloodiest attacks, a trend that suggested that American pressure, including the capture of important bomb makers, had left the insurgents incapable of mounting protracted offensives. But the officer said that despite Americans' recent successes in disrupting insurgent cells, which have resulted in the arrest of 1,100 suspects in Baghdad alone in the past 80 days, the success of American goals in Iraq was not assured.

"I think that this could still fail," the officer said at the briefing, referring to the American enterprise in Iraq. "It's much more likely to succeed, but it could still fail."

Anyone still think we're winning in Iraq?

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