It is difficult, over the past year, to think of anything that has not gone wrong or grown worse in Iraq. The electrical grid is collapsing again, the petrol queues are greater than they were in the days following the illegal invasion in 2003, and security is non-existent in all but the Kurdish north of the country.
Yet, still the invaders go on telling us that things are getting better, that Iraq is about to enter the brotherhood of nations. Bush even got re-elected after telling this lie. The body bags are returning home more frequently than ever - we are not supposed to ask how many Iraqis are dying - yet still we are told that the invasion was worthwhile, that Iraqis are better off, that security will improve or - my favourite, this one - that they will get worse, the nearer we get to elections.
This is the same old story that Bush and Rumsfeld used to put about last spring: that things are getting better - which is why the insurgents are creating so much violence; in other words, the better things are, the worse things are going to get. When you read this nonsense in Washington or London, it might make sense. In Baghdad, it is madness. I wouldn't want to try it out on the young American soldiers who were so arrogantly informed by Rumsfeld that "you go to war with the army you have".
Which leads us to the one clear fact about the last year of chaos and anarchy and brutality in Iraq. We still do not know who our enemies are. Save for the one name, "Zarqawi", the Americans - with all the billions of dollars they have thrown into intelligence, their CIA mainframe computers and their huge payments to informers - simply do not know whom they are fighting. They "recapture" Samarra - three times - and then they lose it again. They "recapture" Fallujah and then they lose it again. They cannot even control the main streets of Baghdad.
Who would have believed, in 2003, as US forces drove into Baghdad, that within two years they would be mired in their biggest guerrilla war since Vietnam? Those few of us who predicted just that - and The Independent was among them - were derided as nay-sayers, doom-mongers, pessimists.
Ah yes, I remember well...as a fellow nay-sayer (doom-monger, pessimist, etc.) I find myself saying over and over again "I told you so." Given the scope of the Iraq quagmire and the tragic consequences for countless tens of thousands of Iraqis and of course those "coalition" troops (and their families) I find being right to be unsatisfying indeed. The Iraq war was a violation of trust by Bu$hCo, by Blair. That Bu$hCo appears to have been rewarded for having so badly violated the trust his citizens give the office of President is all the more tragic. This is one sad story that will only continue to get worse until some sort of regime change occurs here in the US. I suppose Bu$hCo is sufficiently scandal-plagued to where the regime may simply implode, collapse under the weight of their collective hubris. That remains to be seen.