Johann Hari says this:
"Almost every institution of the Iraqi state – the police, army, even the hospitals – are now bisected into Shia and Sunni wings who detest each other. What we are seeing in Iraq today is, in slower motion, what happened in India and Pakistan sixty years ago: the hellish ethnic cleansing of mixed areas, until everyone is trapped in homogenous blocks. There is a real and hefty risk that this will metastasize into an attempt to physically eliminate one of the groups. There is also a risk of the neighbouring countries invading, turning it into a Congo-on-the-Tigris, with the Saudis marching into defend the Sunnis, the Iranians invading to protect the Shia, and the Turks invading to prevent the creation of a mini-Kurdistan in the North.
But is this a case for keeping the US forces there? A recent, much-discussed-in-DC article in the New York Times by Brookings Institute scholars Michael O’Hanlan and Kenneth Pollack said so. They argued that ‘the surge’ of 21,000 troops into Iraq is finally working, and creating momentum away from sectarian violence.
If this was true, it would be important - but their own Institute’s figures show it is the opposite of the truth. It makes no sense to compare statistics on violence in Iraq month-to-month, because the violence fluctuates seasonally (as it does in most cities in the world). For reliable figures, you have to compare this July to last July. And what do you find in Brookings’ statistics? Iraqi military and police killed are up 23 percent. The number of people killed in multiple fatality bombings is up 19 percent. US troop fatalities are up 80 percent. The size of the insurgency is up 250 percent. Attacks on oil and gas pipelines are up 75 percent. The refugee outflow has doubled. Hours of electricity available per day are down 14 percent. Far from creating the space for political compromise among Iraqis, the Sunnis and secularists have marched angrily out of the Maliki government."
I reckon there's not long to go now. The US won't pull troops out whilst Bush is in power. For any reason, no matter how perversely motivated by their domestic political agenda and sheer selfishness. So the state will wobble on and on until some massive suicide bomb makes into the parliament and kills half the MPs and the state simply collapses. Then we have genocide whilst US soldiers stand by, not caring because fewer people are shooting at them now.