Quote of the day

“Caught in the middle of the civil war are the Americans. To Iraq’s factions, they are the weakest of all the armed groups in one crucial respect: their will is ebbing and their time here is limited. That leaves Iraqis more motivated than ever to cling to their weapons, preparing for what many see as an inevitable plunge into the abyss…

The belief of the Shiites that they must consolidate power through force of arms is tethered to ever-present suspicions of an impending betrayal by the Americans. Though the Americans have helped institute the representative system of government that the Shiites now dominate, they have failed to eliminate memories of how the first President Bush allowed Saddam Hussein to slaughter rebelling Shiites in 1991. Shiite leaders are all too aware, as well, of America’s hostility toward Iran, the seat of Shiite power, and of its close alliances with Sunni Arab nations, especially Saudi Arabia…

Looking back on all I have seen of this war, it now seems that the Iraqis have been driving all along for the decisive victory, the act of sahel, the day the bodies will be dragged through the streets.”