Anbar province, incuding the city of Fallujah, is substantially in the hand of Sunni fundamentalist militants with ties to al-Qaeda. The ex-Ba’athists we hastily recruited as local rulers after the Fallujah disaster have either been killed by the insurgents or sold out to them. The “Fallujah Brigade” of Iraqis is almost totally ineffective. If an election is held in January, some cities and regions probably won’t be able to vote.
Is the peace irrevocably lost? I’m not sure, but it looks that way. The people who were against this adventure from the beginning (a group that does not, of course, include the undersigned) are looking smarter and smarter. And the argument that leaving the current team in control for another four years is a tolerable gamble is looking weaker and weaker.
Either the bad result that seems to be developing was inevitable, in which case the war shouldn’t have been fought, in which case the people who decided to fight that war need to be replaced, or it was avoidable, in which case the people who failed to avoid it need to be replaced.