Iraq, a scorecard

With the fifth anniversary of September 11 thankfully over – can we now ignore the rantings of Dubya? – some true believers still cling onto the idea that the “war on terror” is going swimmingly. I guess you’ll never convince this collection of scared, little boys who dearly want protection from our governments. I’ll take my advice elsewhere (and at least the world’s media has treated the US administration with appropriate disdain.)

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Iraq is falling apart:

The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country’s western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.

The officials described Col. Pete Devlin’s classified assessment of the dire state of Anbar as the first time that a senior U.S. military officer has filed so negative a report from Iraq.

One Army officer summarized it as arguing that in Anbar province, “We haven’t been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically – and that’s where wars are won and lost.”

The Australian government has placed hundreds of troops in Iraq. Their mission? The media is rarely given access, but this Aussie soldier blogger provides some insights. His belief in the nobility of the mission is touching, though his knowledge of the carnage in the country is woefully inaccurate.

And could some Australian journalists please ask Prime Minister John Howard some serious questions about the war and its consequences? It’s past time for empty rhetoric. Last night’s ABC Four Corners exchange with Howard simply won’t suffice.