Fugue State

It’s getting into the warm season again in Iraq. And, if military commanders The New York Times cites are to be believed, it’s far from the last summer our troops will spend chasing insurgents, building Mesopotamian democracy, and cleaning up after our Great Architect of World Liberty:

“In interviews and briefings this week, some of the generals pulled back from recent suggestions, some by the same officers, that positive trends in Iraq could allow a major drawdown in the 138,000 American troops late this year or early in 2006. One officer suggested Wednesday that American military involvement could last ‘many years.’ ”

“Many years.” Profoundly sad. Profoundly depressing. But not really surprising.

I remember Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, how glorious that was, what a thorough vindication of its boldness and military superiority. I don’t recall anyone talking in the immediate aftermath about “Palestinians” or “occupied territories. That came later, and it came to stay. Thirty-eight years after its triumph, Israel is walling itself off from its conquest.

Thirty-eight years. I wonder how long it will take us to get home from Iraq, or whether we ever really will?

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