Can anyone tell me what the hell we're doing in Iraq? At this point it seems like we're pretty much just playing Pop-a-Mole with insurgents (beating them down when they pop up, only to have new groups or reorganized groups of insurgents popping up somewhere else). Meanwhile, even more "normal" Iraqis (who have helped to maintain law and order in some parts of the country) are practicing politics the only way they know how- at the barrel of a gun.
The mayor of Baghdad gets deposed and no one seems to really take notice? Of course, he was ousted by a Shiite political group which wants to play a major part in the "legitimate" government of the new Iraq. Which leads once again to the question of what the U.S. is going to do when the Iraqi people vote leaders into power who are, by American standards, religious zealots who are more interested in enforcing God's will than in implementing our version of democracy. I'm NOT standing up for the man, but did anyone ever stop to think that maybe Saddam Hussein's rule of Iraq lasted so long due to the fact that intolerance of dissension and a great deal of ruthlessness are (unfortunately)necessary methodologies (for maintaining order) in a country where political disagreements tend to end in gun fire rather than with people talking things out? Yup, Iraq's ready for democracy. Let's pull the troops out. Except the ones who are guarding the pipelines and oil refineries. They'll stay behind and guard our oil while the country tears itself apart around them. Everyone go out and buy a new SUV. Or a minivan (God help you).