For several months I've worried that we could be in a much more danger in Iraq than has been acknowledged in the media. Actually, longer--when Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army fought pitched battles with US forces in Najaf in the April 2004 . I was, I believe, Juan Cole who observed at the time that American supply lines were dangerously exposed. More recently, retired CIA operative Patrick Lang has maintained that supply lines remains exposed. I am no military expert, and while I was trying to figure out under what circumstances this potential disaster could be realized, Juan Cole's Informed Comment pointed to William Lind's warning about the most likely scenario: Iranian reaction to an American attack.
I'm hoping that Dick Cheney's "full speed ahead" in Iraq comment was sheer pre-election bluster. I take Rumsfield's resignation as a semi-coup by the professional military to try to impress some reality upon a delusional civilian leadership. The signs, however, don't look good. The in-coming Secretary of Defense has a reputation of tailoring intelligence to support the Reagan administration's preconceived notion. If he's been put in charge to carry out Dick Chaney's irrational fantasies and make sure the trains run on James Baker time, nothing really has changed. Augustus Ceasar lost a legion in Germany, and we could lose an army in Iraq. Who will the Republicans blame?