I know that no one comes here for late-breaking news, but it’s Tuesday afternoon and all hell has broken loose in Iraq. At least 20 coalition troops have died in the last 24 hours, and the uprisings seem to be by many different groups in at least 4 different places — and the Fallujah offensive is continuing.
Juan Cole has speculated (and mild-mannered Kevin Drum seems to agree) that hawkish elements in the administration, sensing confusion (!!) at the top, have deliberately escalated military action in order to leave the relative doves in the State Department a fait accompli which would be hard to withdraw from — Ariel Sharon’s old “facts on the ground” trick.
I have never gone wrong so far in expecting the worst from the Bush administration. The worst we can see here would be continued escalation (with each American death being used as a reason for further escalation) coordinated with vicious domestic attacks on the patriotism of any American who criticizes or opposes the Bush plan. War is going to be the only thing Bush has to sell this fall, and a hot war of revenge would be easier to sell than the piecemeal war of attrition we have been seeing up until today.
I don’t see any possible positive outcome in Iraq itself, but I can easily imagine that if the killing continues the Bush propaganda machine might be able to spin his disastrous failure into a heroic defense of freedom — and re-election.
I was not active in the last three anti-war movements, and I only really opposed the second Iraq War. However, if we see Bush continuing to escalate the killing while demonizing his opponents and supercharging his election campaign, I think that the time to take to the streets wil have come.
Even if you never call your Congressman, call him now.