Letter to the Editor on Iraq

We’ll get rolling on the substance of the blog with a letter to the editor I penned last week regarding a column by Ross Mackenzie which approvingly cites Norman Podhoretz’s view that “Iraq has gone not badly but well.” Three days have passed so I’m assuming RTD is not going to run the letter.

In reference to Ross Mackenzie’s latest column (August 17): Perhaps the reason honest conservatives like George Will and William F. Buckley are (like the majority of Americans) increasingly troubled by the situation in Iraq is that they are actually paying attention to what is going on. In addition to the near-daily reports of widespread violence, there is now an overwhelming body of evidence documenting just what has gone wrong and why.

A good place to start is respected Pentagon reporter Thomas E. Ricks’s book Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. That book, based largely on detailed interviews with military officials who participated in the war effort, documents in excruciating detail how the Bush Administration trumped up evidence and ignored internal skeptics on the way to war and embraced wildly over-optimistic scenarios about the cost and ease of pacifying post-war Iraq. And as Ricks shows, the Bush team also utterly failed to prepare for, let alone carry out, the task of reestablishing a functional, secure regime capable of winning over the Iraqi public and quelling any insurgencies.

The result is a protracted, nightmarish quagmire that has cost American lives, damaged America’s position in the world, created a magnet and rallying point for terrorists, and called the future viability of Iraq as a nation into doubt. Three years after “mission accomplished,” the only truly secure place in Iraq remains the Green Zone. This is not what the American people bargained for.

Is it too much to ask that Mr. Mackenzie trouble himself to read the work of Ricks and other close observers of this tragedy before again blithely reassuring readers that all is well?

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Published in: on August 20, 2006 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

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