- Iraq is NOT descending into anarchy; and
- The Insurgency is pretty much bounded by the Sunni Triangle and American casualties have occurred predominantly in that area
What seems to get lost in discussions and rhetoric about Iraq are the following facts:
1) this is a WAR and soldiers die in wars--an inescapable outcome of soldiering and war, although any deaths are clearly regrettable and tragic for the families involved. What is truly remarkable is the LOW LEVEL OF DEATHS AND CASUALTIES for this war, never before seen in ANY major military conflict.
2) that U.S. soldiers are all PROFESSIONAL warriors, meaning they represent an all-volunteer military and are not serving against their will;
5) Iraqis themselves are optimistic about their future.
And, while all of the above are true, it is not defeatism to admit that problems are likely to persist for some time, and that reports like this need to be kept in context and factored into overall military and political strategies.
Why is all this important? I believe that Iraq is a key element in a plan to bring democracy and freedom to the Middle East as part of a strategy to decrease terrorism in the next generation. This kind of long-range planning requires long-range perspective and perseverance- neither of which are virtues encouraged by our political system, unfortunately. Yet, the consequences if we do not "terraform" this part of our world and deflect it from its current suicidal /homicidal course are enormous--both for our generation, and the next.