September 22, 2003


Christopher Dickey is in denial about denial:

Many of us who cover the region—along with the CIA and the State Department and the uniformed military—have been warning for at least a year that occupying Iraq would be a dirty, costly, long and dangerous job.

Tough job; not worth doing. Gotcha.

The problem is not really that the public was misinformed by the press before the war, or somehow denied the truth afterward. The problem is that Americans just can’t believe their eyes. They cannot fathom the combination of cynicism, naiveté, arrogance and ignorance that dragged us into this quagmire, and they’re in a deep state of denial about it.

Personally, I prefer Dennis Miller's geopolitical analysis:

It’s this simple: Do we want to be Neville Chamberlain, or do we want to be Wilt Chamberlain? I say we’re better off being the Dipper and it’s time to take the rock to the hole.

Got that?

(Miller tip from trusted source Zsa Zsa.)

Posted by Tim Blair at September 22, 2003 12:54 AM

Miller also said, "The only time the French get their hands dirty is when they run it through their own hair."

Posted by: Harry at September 22, 2003 at 03:39 AM

Actually, we Americans, after enduring 8 years of Clinton, are more than used to cynicism, naivete, arrogance and ingnorance, not to mention greed, malfeasance, misfeasance and non-feasance. After listening, pretty much non-stop, to both Clintons and the Gorebot, most of us realize that character matters. The left hasn't figured that out yet. They're the ones in a state of deep denial. Bush has never said anything but that it will be a long, hard road in the War on Terrorism, including Iraq.

As a counterproposal, how about we re-examine all the liberal social programs since 1963 and cut and run from any that haven't been totally successful? That gives them 40 years of quagmire as opposed to 6 months of fighting. Oops, there goes the entire lefty agenda. Not a single program (well, maybe WIC and EITC, small potatoes, indeed, and both supported by the right) could meet the standard demanded in Iraq by the left. I guess this shows who is "serious" huh?

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at September 22, 2003 at 03:40 AM

This campaign to cast Iraq as a quagmire is starting to bother me. It really has been revving up. It’s fantastically political & ignores history. Dems & the world, “Splash” Kennedy, Hans Blix, Vlad Putin, etc., etc., are piling on.

Posted by: ForNow at September 22, 2003 at 11:05 AM

"Cynicism, naivete, arrogance and ignorance" -- that just about perfectly sums up the likes of Dickey and such a shockingly large percentage of the major media. I'd stress the arrogant/ignorant part -- that's the combo that never ceases to amaze, offend, and enrage.

Hmmm. So this profound thinker, and other great minds at CIA and elsewhere have been "warning" us poor mortals about Iraq being a "dirty, costly, long and dangerous job," huh? Hmmm.

I seem to remember that many of them "warned" us of much more than that: there was the rising of the Arab "street" across the region, imperiling client regimes; there was some combo of eco- and humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq itself; there was the horrible diplomatic isolation the US would suffer; and let's not forget how the whole affair would "super-charge" al-Qaeda recruiting (Gen. Jello's phrase).

Well, since those prognostications have gone the way of the post-ABM Treaty arms race and the Jenin "massacre" (things that didn't happen), I guess I'll be able to contain my admiration for the insights of Dickey and friends.

As noted in another comment, Bush from the get-go of the WoT has stressed the difficulty, duration, and diverse forms the struggle will take. If persuaded of the importance of the task and the existence of a realistic strategy, Americans will pay the human and financial costs of completing our secondary objectives in Iraq (the primary objective, eliminating the regime and its potential to proliferate WMD, is, as the banner on the USS Lincoln said, "Mission Accomplished").

Only someone abysmally ignorant, both of modern history and Iraq itself, would term the state of play there a "quagmire."

And I want to praise Jorg above for the idea that also crossed my mind -- asking the profound strategic thinkers like Kennedy or Dean what their "exit strategy" is for hugely expensive, questionably effective, provably counter-productive "social" programs ..... arrogant dimwits.

Posted by: IceCold at September 22, 2003 at 04:55 PM