2 June New York Times Commentary - Insurgency Out, Anarchy In by Thomas Friedman.

Note: Requires Times Select subscription - which I have found worth the annual fee of $49.95 - just to read Friedman's articles alone.

President Bush has told us that the question of whether to withdraw from Iraq is one that his successor will have to deal with not him. I don't think so. Mr. Bush is not going to have that luxury of passing Iraq along. You see, the insurgency in Iraq is in its "last throes" just like Dick Cheney said. Unfortunately, it's being replaced by anarchy in many neighborhoods not democracy. And I don't believe the American people will put up with two and half more years of babysitting anarchy instead of midwifing democracy...

Right now we are paying for all the Bush team's missteps in Iraq: allowing looting after the fall of Baghdad, disbanding the Iraqi Army without an alternative security force or enough U.S. troops in place, fostering a culture of torture at Abu Ghraib and then letting the politics in Iraq drift for months without any outcome.

All of this created a security vacuum that has allowed a rogue's gallery of sectarian militias, death squads, gangs and Al Qaeda operatives to mushroom in Basra, Baghdad and the Sunni Triangle. The end result: while the mainstream Iraqi Sunnis have now joined the government, in a major way, this has not brought more stability. Because between the sectarian militias now murdering each other's civilians, ### for tat, and Al Qaeda just blowing up Iraqi civilians randomly, the new government can't get going. Too many Iraqis are paralyzed by fear...