The Iraq good-news train has left the station

Three US soldiers killed: One dead in a bomb blast west of Baghdad, another 2 killed in Mosul by the infamous IED.

CNN reports 14 Iraqis killed after the US military used tanks and air suppport against "unruly Iraqi mobs" in Baghdad.

US soldiers fenced off a village near Tikrit and required local residents to get ID cards. Residents were reported to be not entirely happy with the move, but not angered by it either.

These last two bring up issues as to which way the US occupation of Iraq is going. We see a lot of comparisons with other guerilla campaigns of the last 50 or 60 years. In my opinion, incidents in which large number of protesting Iraqis are killed and acts such as sealing off villages will be seen by some Iraqis as being very similar to what US ally Israel is doing in Palestine. Although the residents of the village that was surrounded were not reported as being angry about the decision, this does not guarantee that other Iraqis will not see it as an Israeli-type closure being imposed on an innocent population. Moves like this will make a US-Iraq:Israel-Palestine link more and more part of the anti-US occupation argument within Iraq.

Finally, we see that the Congressional Budget Office has issued a number of projections as to how long the US occupation will last and how much it will cost. The worst-case scenario sees the US in Iraq until at least 2013 with a total cost of $200 billion.

This seems much more realistic than anything the Bushies or the Pentagon has tried to get us to believe. Getting a unified, pro-US Iraq is going to be a very long-term process and is hardly guaranteed. People who said otherwise were either ignorant or lying.

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