Analysts are puzzled and even shocked when comparing the goals that the U.S. has said it wanted to achieve by sending troops to invade our country.

Initially, the target was to “liberate Iraq from the despotic grip” of Saddam Hussein. That was easy to achieve, as it took only a few days for the troops to find themselves basking in the luxury of Saddam Hussein’s fabulous Baghdad palaces.

But nearly two and a half years later, the troops have many more military targets to achieve.

Practically, however, they have been unable to gain control over most of Baghdad, conducting military operations to subdue one neighborhood after another, only to see them retaken by insurgents once they withdraw.

Today, U.S. commanders have directed their formidable war machine against the once peaceful town of Tal Affar, home to no more than 200,000 people.

Before Tal Affar, they sent their troops to take control of Falluja, Qaim, Karabla (a village), Haqlaniya (another village), Haditha, Samara, Najaf and the area of Al-Sadr in Baghdad.

A country which succumbed to U.S. troops in just a few days during 2003 is not only out of control, but has plunged into hell.

Is anyone in the U.S. asking why?

The U.S. must have learned by now that through the use of military force alone, it is incapable of delivering Iraq from this hell. Washington must also have learned that the divisive sectarian religious and ethnic groups now holding Iraq’s fate in their hands cannot save the country.

Iraq needs a truly national government whose mission transcends these divisions, and works for the country’s integrity and unity rather than the shortsighted objectives of factional groups. We are in need of an elected government that is truly representative and in which all Iraqis can find hope for a better future.

Iraqis really need a strong friend like America.

But unfortunately, we only know of America as a military power. We have seen nothing of America’s other side - the country that fights for equity, democracy, civilization, the spread of science and technology and other human values.

Tanks, warplanes and heavy artillery are not the right tools for allowing these values to take hold. Turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by sectarian militias is contrary to the American values we have read about.

Certainly the picture in Iraq would have been far different had America thrown its weight behind a truly national, well-equipped Iraqi army rather than a hodgepodge of factions armed with of guns and equipment unacceptable to even hobbyists.

For these reasons both sides - the U.S. and the [Iraqi] Government - are now in an abyss from which they cannot get escape. Military operations and hastily drafted Constitutions and legislation will do no good.