I haven't written anything about the War on Terror in quite some time. I have two big reasons, really: (1) I'm stupidly busy with work and (2) I don't know what to say. As far as point #1, that's just the nature of the beast when you're trying to start up any business enterprise, and software consulting isn't an especially simple field to be in.
As far as point #2, I'm just ... boggled. I don't have any grand sweeping suggestions for how to solve the whole problem; I only have the observation that we can't go backwards but must push forwards through victory or else we can look forward to a never-ending succession of 9/11s until we are all under Shari'a law (or dead). I don't advocate genocide. I am absolutely opposed to genocide. Genocide is bad, mmkay? Am I making it absolutely clear that "killing them all" is a bad idea?
The problem is I don't know what else we have as options. Although I thought last year that President Bush was the right man to drive us through to victory, I'm not entirely sure anymore. He seems to be disengaging, and whatever momentum the "democracy building" process might have had seems to be dissipating with each day. Perhaps it's because Iraqis aren't capable of self-government (which is just a stupid theory on it's face, not to mention revoltingly racist). Perhaps it's because things are actually going okay but our overwhelmingly "Anybody But Bush" media are determined to establish that Iraq is the new Tet. Perhaps it's because the President's team didn't have a contingency plan in case the Iraqis didn't all fall over themselves welcoming back Chalabi.
The only thing we have going for us is that the United States military forces are on the ground and are in charge. There is no more resourceful, adaptable, admirable collection of citizens anywhere in the world. As always, there will be some criminals in any group that size, but the armed services are so much better than any other group we could have in place that there's no question about letting them leave before they're done.
So how do they get done? The Marines in Falluja have bottled up al-Sadr quite effectively, and Iraqi forces are taking more control of the situation there. Hooray! A small pocket of "victory" there in the Sunni Triangle. Except, of course, that the Iraqi military forces there include quite a number of ex-Baathists; Saddam's general officers seem to have just hopped over to a new flag and off we go. How can we not be conflicted about that?
The civilians in Najaf are demonstrating, demanding that the militants get the hell out of their neighborhoods and go the f*ck home. Hooray! There's no "but" here; the Iraqis are doing what they ought to be doing, what we would be doing if it was happening in our neighborhoods. An untrammeled victory for the forces of liberal democracy (small 'l', small 'd').
Iraq is a country the size of California. What the hell else is going on over there? Where did the 3ID and 4ID go? They're not even peripherally in the news. I'm quite confident they're not sitting around with their thumbs up their butts, but I have no idea what they're doing. I hope, whatever it is, that it's a good thing.