Wednesday, November 15, 2006


It can be painful to hear, and it too often results in pain for those who tell it. But lately I've had my fill of smoothing things over. At least two people in Iraq are facing up to reality and asking the rest of us to do the same:

An Iraqi citizen:
One angry Shiite man yelled at police officials investigating the scene [of the mass kidnaping at the Education Ministry in Baghdad 14 November]: "Now you will say the militias did this. You will never be brave enough to say policemen did this."
A U.S. soldier:
[W]e are doing no good here. There is nothing we can do at this point to end the fighting. It has become systematic throughout the country. ... now all I want is for us to get out as soon as possible. I do not speak in isolation. Nearly every military and civilian I work with feels the same aimless drift here. ... We all know that this is a fight not worth fighting and with no possible chance for “victory”. ...[T]he best thing for us to do is to pull back. We have no good options and that is the least bad for us. ... [J]ust being here, without much of a goal and knowing that this is near the end is devastating to morale.



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