Christopher Hitchens says that there are three wars in Iraq. It is the second that interests me most:

“On the second front, everything I hear by e-mail from soldiers in Anbar province and some well-attested other reports suggest (see my Slate column of Aug. 13) that the venomous rabble of foreign murderers and local psychopaths that goes to make up AQM has insanely overplayed its hand, lost all hope of local support, and is becoming even more vicious as its cadres are defeated. This means that there is also political separation and polarization within the Sunni Arab community. A recent wire-service report even suggested that the underground remnant of the Baath Party has broken off relations with AQM. It must say something when even Saddam’s old goons find themselves repelled by anybody’s tactics. One must not declare victory too soon, but if the United States has in fact succeeded in not only smashing but discrediting al-Qaida in a major Arab and Muslim country, that must count as a historic achievement.”

The third war is the one to establish an acceptable government-it’s the hardest:

“The obliteration of political life and civil society by Saddam Hussein’s fascism has meant that most of the successor political figures are paltry (and the Kurdish exception to this exactly proves the point: Kurdistan escaped from Baathist control a full decade before the rest of Iraq did).”

Read the whole piece. The first war is going the best. Can you guess what that one is?