It seems I wasn't real clear in the previous post. I don't mean to suggest that the right answer to the Fallujah crisis was starting a major urban campaign and killing lots of civilians. I do mean to say that:
1. If this is the end state, the seige was a blunder.
2. But, because I don't think the administration is willing to accept the likely consequences of this move — it will be seen as the weakness that it is — I fear even more what this seems likely to lead to, which is bloodier consequences in Fallujah and especially elsewhere. And I suspect that the US administration's response to those facts — when faced with possible widespread chaos as Iraqis decide the US can be driven out — will end up with more casualties on both sides. Therefore, I think that leaving in these circumstances has very bad side-effects. That doesn't mean that turning up the violence (“going in” to urban warfar) made any sense either.
3. Putting a Baathist in charge doesn't seem real smart unless he's a very unusal one. Is this a calculation that Baathists are better than Islamicists? Is the best-case exit scenario now reduced to a Saddam-like regime without Saddam? Is Saddam lite really the best we can do?