Reading this (U.S. Position in Iraq Seen as Increasingly Perilous) just made me touch on two points.
1. It's definitely looking more and more like a Northern Ireland situation, as pointed out by both Phil and the New Statesman. If this is the case then the Americans (along with whoever else is in on it with them) have a choice. If they carry on as they are, they either impose a police state on a supposedly free country - another issue - until they've caught all of the baddies, or they leave at some point before that, leaving the locals to the mercy of those with the rockets. I'm thinking police state, for some reason.
2. I think something fundamental has been missed out a lot from the surrounding discourse. As we are now seeing, the impact all of these terrorist actions speaks more loudly to those not directly involved - those outside the sphere of politics, for instance - much more than those who are. We are now in a situation where the ongoing after-effects of the war are taking as much toll politically as the war itself, and whether you agree with the terrorists actions or not, whether you separate things out into sides or not, it's clear that the terrorists get an awful lot of press. And, as many an adminstration knows, the press counts for a lot, even if you don't fall for its naturally-biased, disproportional perception-swaying ways.
As much as Bush denies it, the damage caused by firepower is substantial, amplified through a networked news infrastructure and a global interest in matters. It's amusingly ironic that the powers that got the Americans into such a global superpower position - their insistence upon military strength, world cop, et al - are now the very same powers being used to undermine the credibility of their leaders.
See kids? Violence does still work! Civilisation is just kidding itself if it thinks otherwise...?