Monday, August 10, 2009

Bad Options

"She drew a large circle...'This was Saddam...He is is here. Big...all you had to do was stay away from this giant thing. That was not pleasant but not so hard.'"

"She flipped to another blank page. She drew a dozen circles...A small galaxy. She put her pen in the middle and made a dot. 'The dot in middle, that is me--that is every Iraqi...From everywhere you can be killed...'"

Dexter Filkins,The Forever War

The killings continue, escalating. For all the U.S.'s mistakes about information, WMDs, preparation, etc., perhaps the most fundemental mistake was not understanding or even sensing the underlying dynamics of Iraqi society. What was called for was a more conservative, incremental approach if anything -- not a top option for a group of folks who wanted to change the world, no matter what.

Speaking about another war, another time, "A friend of mine once described peversity as a situation that enlisted your curiosity while discouraging your understanding."

Ward Just,To What End

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