Attacks in Iraq left 15 people dead Tuesday while security forces said they killed 25 militants near Baghdad amid worries insurgents are encroaching on the capital weeks ahead of elections.Looking through article in the NYT eleven years ago today one is struck by how many were already noting that we were not being greeted as liberators and tough times were ahead, though none recognized the true scope of the problem (and the crime of the invasion to start with). "Chaos" and "looting" were also beginning, amid false U.S. reports that "barrels" of chemical agents had been found, a possible "smoking gun," as one official put it.
The latest violence is part of a protracted surge in nationwide bloodshed that has left more than 2,400 people dead since the start of the year and sparked fears Iraq is slipping back into the all-out sectarian fighting that plagued it in 2006 and 2007.
Thomas Friedman, later rightly mocked for his prediction, over and over, for years, that things would be turning around there within six months, was pretty clear-eyed in a column titled 'Hold Your Applause," that closed with:
America broke Iraq; now America owns Iraq, and it owns the primary responsibility for normalizing it. If the water doesn't flow, if the food doesn't arrive, if the rains don't come and if the sun doesn't shine, it's now America's fault. We'd better get used to it, we'd better make things right, we'd better do it soon, and we'd better get all the help we can get.Greg Mitchell's new book on Iraq and media malpractice is "So Wrong for So Long."