I was talking to an expert on Iraq yesterday. He was analyzing the current situation (aside from the meaningless and diversionary discourse of the surge), and told me: Make no mistake about it. The U.S. deploys the same methods of Saddam in (mis)ruling Iraq. He/she argued that the U.S. has in fact in the short period since the invasion killed, injured, imprisoned, and tortured (directly or indirectly) more people than Saddam. The methods of U.S. occupation, was evidenced by the brutal and savage takeover of Fallujah, replicate the methods of Saddam, and exceed them in brutality in the casual use of fighter jet and helicopter gunships against civilian neighborhoods. Can you imagine the outcry if a country were to use advanced fighter jets against the civilians of another country (or countries as the U.S. is helping itself to a number of countries nowadays)? The ICC would immediately move to prosecute in those cases, ad conferences and demonstrations would be held. Somebody will one day tally up the human cost of the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and both invasions will be regarded as beyond classic cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity. But please: don’t let me interrupt you as you celebrate the success of the surge. For me this should be the real criterion: for how many hours will Nuri Al-Malik last once U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq?