May 04, 2004

What's Going On In Iraq? A Test

Iraq fits into one of two models. Either it is generally settled down and working towards the sovereignty handover, generally accepting the fact that end of year elections are a 'good enough solution' but with significant dissenters who are trying to throw turds in the election/transition punch bowl or it is spiraling out of control with rebellion breaking out all over the place in a slow motion descent into rebellion and chaos.

I have a gut feeling that the former model is a closer fit to the reality on the ground rather than the latter but I'm a long way away from Iraq so what do I know? I know enough to ask questions and here's what I would want to know from any pessimist who seriously believes Iraq is spiraling out of control:

1. What are the 10 worst places in Iraq (on a map if possible)?
2. In what order would you put them?
3. What's the worst recent incident in the bottom five spots of the top ten list (6-10)

I suspect that the 10 worst hot spots of Iraqi resistence would cluster in the Sunni Triangle and that the number ten hot spot would be relatively mild trouble. One, two, or even three trouble zones do not make an entire country the size of Iraq a seething sea of discontent. By shifting away from hysterical hyperfocus one the worst spots and only implying that the trouble is typical for the situation in Iraq, it would be a wise Iraq optimist who insists on spreading out the discussion to multiple locations, not to dissipate any discussion but to gain perspective by not falling for the tight camera angles and purposeful lack of context that is the stock in trade of the pessimist trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Posted by TMLutas at May 4, 2004 12:35 AM