Arianna posts an excellent blog on today’s article in The New York Times that the leaking of information regarding the military’s doubts about the ultimate likelihood of success in Iraq is significant.
I would only offer a few comments to her insights. First, none of this is really new. When persons in the military expressed their concerns before the war about the need for hundreds of thousands of troops for indefinite duration, they were ignored or ridiculed, but of course, they have been proven correct.
Second, I was struck by the officer’s statement in the article that “We believe in the [mission] because we’re in it; and if we let go of the insurgency and take our foot off its throat, then this country could fall and go back into civil war and chaos.” That is startling as well – the country has become totally reliant on our military to avoid “war and chaos”? Doesn’t it make any of us wonder whether we would have been better off not to invade Iraq in the first place?
Third, with all due respect to my good friend Arianna, I cannot agree with her blanket statement that “the only Democrat of note speaking out about Iraq this week is Bill Clinton”. I continue to be quite focused on the issue. Among other things, I have written to the White House press secretary complaining about his badgering of Newsweek, particularly given the Adminisration’s own hypocrisies and reliance on bad sources concerning the need to go to war. And I am happy to report that The New York Times has today opted to cover my letter to President Bush on the “Downing Street Memo” concerning a secret Bush-Blair agreement to invade Iraq by the summer of 2002.