On The Democratic Strategist, James Vega asks what kind of society we're really building in Iraq:

The notion that the surge has successfully produced something resembling "normal life" becomes even more grotesque when one reviews the on-the-scene descriptions of conditions within Baghdad itself.

...

This extensive and massive use of walls and barriers is not an ad hoc or spur of the moment improvisation. ... Studying the extensive press photographs of the concrete walls and barriers, barbed wire, checkpoints and searches, one cannot help being forcefully reminded of similar images of the occupied territories of the West Bank.

...

For anyone who genuinely identifies with the sacrifices the American troops have made, this is profoundly sad--our troops did not fight and suffer for this result.

This is terrible. But I wouldn't say it's more grotesque than ethnic cleansing.

Maybe if we'd invaded Iraq with thrice as many troops, we could have prevented the ethnic radicalization that made walls necessary--but now, as in Berlin 1961 and Israel 2002--they do seem like the least bad option.

And they'll help Iraq's government prevent a meltdown when we leave.

--Barron YoungSmith