Conventional wisdom has it that the "surge" in Irak is "working." That is, the addition of over 30,000 American troops concentrated in regions of Baghdad has resulted in some decrease in violence. Certainly not all violence. There may be only 10 dead bodies found on the street instead of 20. Progress!!
The surge has been accompanied by an extreme regimen of life for the residents of these areas with invasion of the home space by soldiers, interrogations, etc., etc., etc. Not what one would ever call a normal life. I have not seen the opinions of the citizens of Irak concerning the surge. This is strange. After all, it is their cities, villages and land.
I make no mistake, our involvement in Irak will not end soon. I just saw a patient who is shipping out to Irak in the near future.
(On the other hand, when the British, who were experiencing 90% of the violence in Basra withdrew, the violence decreased by 90%. Damn Brits. They must be fixing the intelligence and the facts. Its that dodgey report again.)
The most important aspect of the situation isn't that the surge is working, it is what the Iraki definition of "working" is. The problem for the unfortunate people of Irak is not that they live under a dictatorship (though what's the difference?), it is that the invasion and occupation of their land by American forces has unleashed a Civil War. One can not imagine in any shape, way or form that people who have no control of their lives or their society will be able to go back to a situation that is placid. Our presence in Irak does nothing but increase the likelihood that the Civil War that does come after our exit will be even more cataclysmic than the present situation.
The dirty trick of the surge has created a situation where George W. Bush will simply say: "I tried to give the Iraki people a country and they refused to accept it. Therefore, its not my fault." We tried everything but the patient died, even though we did the operation without informed consent for a non existent disease.