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Iraq: The good and the bad

Coalition forces handed over a peaceful province in southern Iraq today, so it is now under the control of the Iraqi government. That is one down, seventeen to go in case you're counting, but it is good news, the kind of good news I suppose the right seems to think is being hidden from us.

However it is one relatively easy one, and some of the seventeen remaining provinces are, well, not-so-easy. Provinces that include Baghdad, for instance, where things seem to be going in exactly the wrong direction:

Most of Iraq's political parties have militias.
Always a positive sign in a democracy, no?

The result is a thoroughly efficient approach to creating a civil war, organized in part by the same people who were the state killers under the old regime. Zarqawi, the marketing genius who inspired so many jihadis with his call for the mass slaughter of Shiites, is now a ghost who hovers patiently, waiting for the day when the bloodletting becomes a flood tide.

Oops indeed.

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