Insurgents have taken over much of the Iraqi city of Ramadi and used it to launch attacks against US forces while terrorising the population with public beheadings.Just to be clear, let's put this in plain language:
A huge bomb killed five American marines yesterday and showered body parts on to rooftops, fuelling suspicion that armour-piercing technology is being developed and tested in Ramadi.
US troops recovered the remains and withdrew to their base outside the Arab Sunni stronghold, leaving masked gunmen to erect checkpoints and carry out what residents said was the latest of many executions.
The US military just got its ass handed to it by the insurgency. They were pushed right out of a city because they didn't have the numbers to keep it, and lost 5 men in the process. This is called "defeat", and this is not supposed to happen to the US Army or the Marines. These are not forces that have had to "retreat" or "withdraw" from combat since Vietnam.
This is decidedly bad news for the US today. Of course, with the US busy in Tal Afar, the insurgents will have a field day in Ramadi. Oh, and to underscore this a bit further - Ramadi is a bit more than an hour's drive from Baghdad. Essentially, the Iraqi resistance just took a town 70 miles from the capital. I don't think that means much in terms of the overall picture, but it's worth pointing out that the US control in Baghdad doesn't extend very far from Saddam's old palaces.
I'm sure Tom Friedman will be able to tell you all why this is my fault.