The one question all of us trying to figure out what’s going on have to ask every say is, “How bad is it?” The title of Nir Rosen’s Reason article, It’s All Bad News, should give you some clue. Rosen is a freelancer living in Iraq, and paints a picture of constant violent crime, growing hatred for the American occupiers, and nonsensical repression of the Iraqis by US troops. I know there’s good stuff going on as well, but it doesn’t seem like the security situation is improving. My gut feeling is that the reason we’re seeing deaths of US soldiers go down is that the Iraqi insurgents have figured out that they’re the hardest people to kill, and they figure that slaughtering Iraqi civilians who collaborate with the Americans serves their ends just as well. (Via Juan Cole.)