Iraq, October 2006

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In every state Iraq is an issue — sometimes the issue — in the 2006 midterms. Do we run the danger, standing before the possibility of the overturn of both houses of Congress, of treating Iraq as just that, an issue? Iraq is not what it was this summer, even. October was the deadliest month for US troops in Iraq since November 2004. Baghdad, said journalist Patrick Cockburn on the phone this afternoon, isn’t really a city any more, it’s more than a dozen different districts. It reminded him of Lebanon’s civil war.

Sectarian violence in Iraq is so bad that, as The Boston Globe reported today, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is calling for calm. Even President Bush this afternoon revealed that he’s “not satisfied” with the situation in Iraq. So what is the situation?

Who, right now in October of 2006, is fighting whom? What populations are moving where? Where are US troops, and if we are indeed going to — as RNC Chair Ken Mehlman said — “win by adapting,” how exactly are we going to adapt?

Patrick Cockburn

Baghdad correspondent, The Independent and The London Review of Books

Author, The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq

Zeyad

(Anoymous) Blogger, Healing Iraq

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