Now the place sounds hideous. Certainly you would not want to be a tourist agent in Baghdad. What would be your most fetching sights, a cafe that recently hosted a Kia minivan that exploded, or a Kia minivan that went up in flames in front of a theater? Kia minivans, apparently, are the vehicles of choice for roadside bombs, cars that suddenly go boom in an otherwise quiet neighborhood. Maybe the tourist guide could take his clients to a Kia showroom.
Back in early 2007, President George W. Bush ordered the surge. At the time Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid was pronouncing: "This war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything." Nonetheless, Bush endured. Following General David Petraeus' plan he sent in some 20,000 additional troops to weed out the roadside bombers and pacify the militias. In a matter of months the slaughter of civilians had ended. Sunni militias were becoming agents of peace, not mindless slaughter, and Iraq was becoming a peaceful country.
Then Maliki and Obama bungled the peace treaty. American troops were unceremoniously asked to leave the country. Washington put the best face possible on it and now what have you? Incipient chaos! I think in all of American history we have had no more ungrateful allies than the Iraqis under Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who is now holed up behind cement walls in the Green Zone guarded by tanks and armor. The fortified Green Zone is one last gift from the vanishing American army.