Snap, crackle and pop

In addition to continuing carnage against American (and Iraqi) security forces, a leading Shiite militia decided to fight City Hall the old fashioned way: by deposing Baghdad’s Mayor and taking over its City Hall.
My guess is 95%, if not 99%, of Iraq’s actual citizenry would rather the God damned insurgents (Saudi-sponsored foreign maniacs, Saddam-loyalist dead-enders, some Iranian-sponsored opportunists, a few plain old petty criminals…) would just stop, leave them alone, and let them get on with the business of trying to assemble some semblance of an orderly country and orderly lives.
But, as we know, it doesn’t take all that many people to turn any situation into a total, bloody mess. Unfortunately, it probably takes a great many more people to stop that small group… and those people are not available. We don’t have them. With apologies to Senator Kerry, our allies don’t have them. The Iraqis themselves are years away from having them. The Iranians have the people, of course… but let’s not go there…
So… This is just the way it is, and the way it’s going to be. The Iraqis are a long-suffering people. They’re going to suffer some more. The nascent democracy we set up may yet take hold; or it may be forced into expedient compromise with the most powerful thugs nearby…
In the end, our intervention in Mesopotamia may achieve salutory ends, or it may not. But for those who thought in terms of “cakewalks”, or who thought that this life-time (if not multi-generational) project should have been entered lightly for short-term emotional reasons… well, here we are.