I was worried for a little while there. I thought perhaps the conflagration between Israel and Lebanon would obscure Bush's incompetent war presidency long enough to keep Republican's alive in the fall. However, true to form, Bush went against the wishes of the American people, Iraqi people, and basic logic and decided to crank up the situation in Baghdad.
Ostensibly Bush believes that the recent violence in Iraq's capital city can be quelled with a larger American presence. He even got his Iraqi toady Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to say the same thing in an address to Congress. However, what ground forces and military planners know is that more troops in the area will only increase violence. For the insurgents an increased military presence creates the opportunity for further turkey shoots and stokes the fires of an infidel occupation. See, the insurgents aren't afraid of our forces; they want to kill us in ever larger numbers. In the meantime, our military won't have the ability to stop the infighting between Shiites and Sunni's. The Iraqi parliament is extremely unstable and many ministers support the internal war that's going on. It's well understood that many of the killings in Baghdad are the result of hit squads under the command of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, which is run solely by Shiites. On the other hand, there are roving bands of Sunni henchmen retaliating against the murders committed by the Shiites. Add the Al Qaeda influence on the Sunni side, and you have literally thousands of armed Iraqi's on missions of death against each other. They're not particularly concerned that American forces are trying to stop them. If there's one thing that both Shiite and Sunni death squads agree on, it's killing Americans who stand in their way.
President Bush knows all of this, but refuses to accept the reality of the situation. He still sees Iraq as a sow's ear that can be made into a silk purse which will deliver millions of barrels of oil to him, and continue to be a cash cow for his buddies in the war profiteering business. But more importantly, he can use the war as an excuse to continue detaching Constitutional protections from the American people.
The American electorate isn't standing for this. Smart progressive candidates running in the midterm elections are excoriating Bush and his dismal performance in the war and the great unwashed are responding. Bush's job approval ratings remain in the mid to high 30's, and Republican candidates are scrambling to disassociate themselves from the president. One, Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele of Maryland, who's running for an open Congressional seat left by retiring Paul Sarbanes, is urging the President to stay away from his campaign. Just a few short years ago, Steele carried water for Bush administration policies. How quickly the worm turns.
The sad truth is there's little we can do to make Iraq right again. Bush's efforts to transform Iraq into a qausi-capitalist oligarchy answerable to American interests in the region have turned it into the most fractured, dangerous nation on earth. And all of his horses and all of his men will never put Iraq together again.