Iraq calmer, but more divided - Los Angeles Times
The U.S. troop buildup has brought down violence, but that has failed to spark cooperation among politicians. If anything, the country appears more balkanized into ethnic and sectarian enclaves.This article at the LA Times requires registration but you can read the whole thing, without the hassle of giving out your inside leg measurement, at URUK. The emphasis on reducing violence has diverted attention away from the fact that Iraq is still in a complete mess. If the aim of the occupation had been to reduce violence the best way of achieving it would have been to stay the fuck out of the place from the start.
"Iraq is moving in the direction of a failed state, a highly decentralized situation -- totally unplanned, of course -- with competing centers of power run by warlords and militias," said Joost Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group. "The central government has no political control whatsoever beyond Baghdad, maybe not even beyond the Green Zone."
The capital's Green Zone mirrors the chaos outside. Once the base of Saddam Hussein's dictatorial regime, it is now the seat of Iraq's fractured and dysfunctional representative government.