Less than 10 months after the invasion, this vision lies not merely in tatters but exposed as the delusional dream of a president with a tenuous grip on reality. For, with the inexorability of Greek drama, the political and the military situation in Iraq has spiralled almost completely out of control.
Take the military situation first. When Saddam Hussein's sons were killed, the US military command announced this would sharply reduce the attacks on its forces in Iraq. Instead, the rate of attrition rose sharply in the next 10 days and remained on a higher level than before even after the immediate reaction was over. When Saddam was captured on December 13, the US military and the coalition provisional authority issued similar confident predictions. But more soldiers were killed in the second half of the month than the first. In all, 40 American soldiers lost their lives that month. In January, the death rate climbed to 45.