Monday, October 23, 2006

Meanwhile, in Fantasia...

Same ol' Same ol':

* BAQUBA - A bomb blast and an ambush by gunmen on a convoy of buses near Baquba killed 13 police recruits and several more recruits were kidnapped, a local official said. Another 25 recruits were wounded in the ambush on the buses which were taking the recruits to Baghdad from a base attacked by insurgents using mortars and rifle fire on Saturday. There were 80 casualties, including many dead, from Saturday's attack, the official said.

* BAGHDAD - The Interior Ministry said 50 bodies had been found in Baghdad over the past 24 hours.

* MOSUL - Three bodies were found in Mosul, a hospital source said.

SALAHEDDIN PROVINCE - A U.S. soldier was killed and three more wounded as a result of enemy action in Salaheddin Province, the military said.

ANBAR PROVINCE - A U.S. Marine was killed in combat in western Anbar province on Saturday, the U.S. military said on Sunday, bringing to 79 the number of U.S. military deaths in October, the deadliest for American troops this year.

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber killed six people and wounded 20 on Palestine Street in central Baghdad, police said.

HADITHA - Four people were killed and five wounded in clashes between U.S. forces and gunmen in Haditha, west of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - A bomb under a vehicle killed three people and wounded six in a market in Al Rashid street in central Baghdad, police said.

Actually between yesterday morning and the present, the total number of reported American deaths has gone from 2791 to 2798 2799 -- not that you have heard much of it on the chat shows.

Meanwhile, 'The Worst & The Dimmest' are still running around like chickenhawks deprived of their heads, as Billmon summarizes:

anyone who's thinking of a military coup as the solution to our problems in Baghdad has a brain the size of a pin. Which is why I worry that there may be some truth behind the rumor.

Likewise the loose talk about "partition." Even assuming it wouldn't turn into sectarian bloodbath, (estimated death toll in the 1947 partition of British India: 200,000 to a million) how, exactly, is the United States supposed to order a sovereign nation to tear itself apart? This raises all the same practical and propaganda problems as a military coup made in Washington, except the U.S. Army could well find itself in the middle of a civil war between Sunni and Shi'a and between pro- and anti-partition Shi'a militias. It would probably also shatter the Iraqi Army, turn the contested city of Kirkuk into a battlefield and bring Turkish intervention in Kurdistan.

Some fun, huh?

None of this babbling makes any sense, in other words. Nor is it remotely in scale with the size of the Cheney administration's failure in Iraq. Part of me thinks it's all being driven by the need of beltway journalists and think tankers alike to have something new to say about Iraq, something that isn't a variation on: "Yep. We're still fucked." But there's obviously a hard edge of real desperation -- if not despair -- behind this. America's ruling elites have had things largely their own way for the past couple of decades. But now they're looking at a bottomless quagimire that may have a much bigger disaster (like loss of access to Persian Gulf oil) hidden somewhere in the mud. And they don't have a clue about what to do. They've lost control, which is the last thing any ruling elite can afford to admit.

Small wonder then, that the policy "debate" has now crossed the line into complete fantasy -- like a long piece of dialogue from Waiting for Godot. The realists have turned into surrealists. Baker now sounds almost as naive and deluded as Bush.

As a veteran anti-establishmentarian -- no, let's be honest here, I despise the motherfuckers -- I should be enjoying the hell out of all this. And if it weren't for the hundreds of thousands who have died, and the many more who will die as this fiasco goes even further south, I'm sure I would be.

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