So how's Iraqification going?

Dan Drezner has a good post on current efforts in Iraq, drawing from a number of sources. Encouraging stuff. I would have added John Simpson’s first column on the BBC site to the list too. He, as ever, has a good take on the situation.

Yet the basic problem remains: the Sunni population is as angry, resentful and resistance-minded as ever.

As the supporters of the invasion are finding two years on, you cannot step in, change the structure of a nation fundamentally and make everyone happy. There is a ferocious price to be paid, and on average two coalition soldiers and 20 Iraqi civilians pay it daily.

Or better yet, have a read of Husayn:

I dont care what your news tells you, what your television and newspapers say, this is how we feel. Despite all that has happened. Despite all the hurt, the pain, blood, sweat and tears. These two years have given us hope we never had.

All this while Yglesias raises the issue of having permanent military bases in Iraq:

…the elephant in the corner of American Iraq policy, the fact that near as anybody can tell the administration is still trying to finagle some kind of permanent military basing agreement in Iraq. That the administration has managed to hew consistently to this agenda without ever stating that this is one of their major policy goals is astounding, and that the American media is consistently unwilling to discuss the point is appalling. What’s even more astounding about it is that one regularly hears and reads in expert commentary that we ought to “make clear” that this isn’t what we’re doing. Apparently, it’s impolitic to note that Bush isn’t making it clear that we don’t want permanent bases because we do, in fact, want permanent bases.

Kevin Drum also weighs in on the issue.