re: "Cassandra On the War" & "The Heartrending Kaleidoscope of War"
"I often wonder how the war will seem, in retrospect. Once it is over, should that blessed day ever arrive, how will it come back to us in memory? I often think it will seem much like one of those slideshows; that we won't recall entire episodes, but only snapshots frozen in time. Will our memories be distorted, selective? They can't help but be, I fear. That is partly why I get up and write every morning. In our imperfect way, we are grappling to understand history before it is finished."
"(T)he thought that relentlessly broadcasting our inability to win the war doesn't exactly encourage fearful Iraqis trying to decide whether to back militias or support an illogical foreign nation that can't achieve consensus, keep intelligence information secret, or fulfill serious foreign policy commitments never seems to occur to really smart men like David Ignatius. But this is completely understandable. They're too busy telling the world how short-sighted the administration is."
"The conventional wisdom of the day, back then, was that the Arab street would rise up in anger against the removal of Saddam and there would be massive casualties.
None of that happened.
Because we did not go in as heavy handed conquerors, the "Arab street" saw that we did not intend to oppress Iraq and impose imperial rule. They saw that we were serious about letting the Iraqis control their own future. The peril we could not avert was that decades of brutality had numbed the Iraqis and made them more passive than we expected. And so one danger was averted and another danger we did not foresee - that a proxy war would arise and malicious third parties would leverage deep divisions both in Iraq and back here in America - took its place."
"(M)eanwhile, in the midst of hyperbolic press coverage about a lying ex-ambassador who went to Africa so he could spill the beans about what he didn't find there and a sensational trial, ostensibly about a White House aide involved in exposing the identity of a "covert" CIA operative so deeply buried that half the Washington press corps already knew her name, the LA Times openly brags about "outing" three ACTUAL CIA operatives who are covert.
So much for journalistic ethics. But we're supposed to "trust" the media when they report on the war, despite the fact that Jamil Hussein does not exist."
Cassandra has deftly woven a narrative linking material from a number of relevent sources. Read the whole thing.