The sectarian violence is now mostly over. Al Qaeda has been pushed out of most of its urban enclaves and is now being chased into the hills. Even more important, Al Qaeda has been thoroughly discredited in Iraq. Similarly, now that the civil war no longer justifies their existence, the Shiite militias are largely seen as criminal groups rather than protectors or liberators.
Debunked in short order, and refuted with evidence that nothing much at all has changed in Iraq, courtesy of Professor Juan Cole:
Guerrillas in Iraq set off three bombs one after another on Monday morning, targeting Shiite pilgrims on their way to the Shrine of Imam Musa al-Kadhim in Kadhimiya, north Baghdad, to commemorate his death. They killed at least 11 persons and wounded some 33. The bombings on this Shiite holy day are an unwelcome reminder that Sunni-Shiite sectarian tensions remain high in Baghdad and that Sunni Arab guerrillas are still attempting to provoke sectarian feuding as a way of destabilizing the situation. All this, despite Iraqi police attempts to forestall such attacks.
On Sunday, Sunni Arab guerrillas shot down seven Shiite pilgrims as they passed through a Sunni area on their way to Kadhimiya, according to AP (though the report has been questioned). Imam Musa al-Kadhim is the 7th in the line of close relatives of the Prophet Muhammad who, Shiites, believe, were his rightful vicars.
When I read things like this, I just shake my head. No one is disputing that violence is down; when you lock everything down and use precaution, you will reduce violence. When you pay people to stop attacking you, you will reduce violence. When you absorb large numbers of former insurgents or militiamen into the government security apparatus, you will reduce violence. When you keep American troops in their garrisons, you will reduce violence. When the Iraqi ministries are allowed to lie about who is being killed and what the reasons for those killings were, you will reduce violence. When you let someone make shit up, you will reduce violence, in other words.
One thing that doesn't happen is, you don't reach a solution to the problem and you don't see an end to the violence itself. But it gives cover to clever people who want to proclaim victory and command themselves a little moral authority and vindication they don't deserve.
Isn't the track record of your garden variety Iraq war apologist bad enough yet? Who publishes their bullshit without shame or accountability? Except for the fact that it isn't, the occupation is won, you know.