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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Charlie Rose again

I just love the way Charlie can state with a straight face that he has guests representing "two views on Iraq" when those guests are a university professor and a Washington Post journalist. Yep, the entire spectrum of opinion is clearly represented there. Sheesh.

I'm reminded of the Blues Brothers, when Dan Ackroyd asks the honky-tonk owner, "What kind of music do you have here?" She answers brightly, "Oh! We have both kinds of music... Country and Western!"

I'm not familiar with Fouad Ajami from Johns Hopkins University but his thoughts on Iraq did not differ much from from those of Robin Wright of the WaPo whom I do know, and material from her recent article featured prominantly in her Rose appearance. That material is effectively neutralized by TallDave.

Robin writes:

The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad.

The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.

"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."

Dave responds with:

There’s a lot of carping that the admin is now lowering expectations, but I think it's really the expectations of critics that have been raised. Imagine if you had told someone in Jan 2003 the following:

"By August 2005, not only will the regime have been removed from power and its leaders be on trial, but Iraq will have held successful elections and be on the verge of approving a new constitution. Fewer than 2,000 American soldiers will have been killed by hostile fire, and resistance will be light, scattered and very unpopular among Iraqis."

You'd have been called delusionally optimistic. Now that situation is cause for despair.

You can guess which view I subscribe to, but that Charlie (who I like, and watch, and enjoy, don't get me wrong) didn't see fit to feature tonight.

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