Sunni radicals are now fighting for control of Ramadi and Falluja, key cities in the Anbar province of Iraq. Once again, the surge is on.
You will recall the desperate gamble by George Bush that sent thousands of troops into this area to fight the insurgents block by block. It was hailed as a significant victory.
But we left, mostly at the heeding of the Iraqis, who by this time were distrustful of our intentions, and our soldiers. Who can blame them? The war was a desperate gamble itself; a people we had nothing in common with cannot expect to welcome invaders as liberators. It does not work.
Ramadi and Falluja are not towns in some distant corner of Iraq. They are strategic to Baghdad itself. If Maliki cannot control his own neighborhood, he will not be able to control the country.
Ripe pickings for Iran, who has offered assistance. Is there a side the US can take in this conflict?