The overall Iraqi situation now looks darker and bleaker than ever. The situation in the country resembles that of a patient in a wheelchair speeding inexorably and uncontrollably toward the abyss. There is no better illustration of America's quandary than Kofi Annan’s rare warning to America about "the arrogance of power." When one couples this with the narrative of the Baker commission report, one gets an inkling of the growing dangers of the Iraq crisis.

The way death is presently distributed in Iraq is similar to the way "perfume is sprayed over people preparing for a night out," with exploding cars killing dozens every day. But the most dangerous of all purveyors of murder are the death squads, which spread terror in the homes of innocents and kidnap and ship young men to their deaths. The squads have become highly organized and can be likened to an Iraqi version of an American terrorist organization known as the Klu Klux Klan , which was founded in the wake of the American Civil War. By targeting Blacks and threatening their collective extermination, the KKK depended on terror to achieve its goals. And despite recent American military declarations that U.S. troops are to accompany Iraqi police during their operations, the actions of these death squads continue without interruption.

Witness the way the United States, which invaded Iraq "to make the world a safer place" and provide a democratic template that would be "a beacon for the Middle East," after three years of effort, has only managed to harvest "rotten fruit." There it is biting its nails in regret and looking for a chance - so small it can be likened to the eye of a needle - to escape from the death fields and the painful blows being struck by the resistance.

What is urgently required is for the Bush Administration to comply with the recommendations of the Baker report, and proceed with a timetable for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq and begin a direct dialogue with Iran and Syria, because there is little time left before "the temple collapses" over the living and the dead, and the land of Mesopotamia becomes modern history's biggest lesson to invaders since the dawn of the enlightenment.