An American helicopter has been shot down in Iraq, and, at this count, at least 15 soldiers were killed, and 21 wounded. It was the deadliest single strike against American troops since the start of war. David Rieff has a long article in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, called "Blueprint for a Mess," in which he chastizes the Bush administration for making a bunch of wrong decisions about the war in Iraq. He focuses on the lack of postwar planning, the lack of putting emphasis on "nation-building," the lack of willingness to listen to the Department of State which had the whole thing nailed.
He claims: "And the more time passes, the clearer it becomes that what happened in the immediate aftermath of what the administration calls Operation Iraqi Freedom was a self-inflicted wound, a morass of our own making." Poor planning and wishful thinking are responsible "for the fact that it may be turning into a quagmire."
It is clear now that the Ramadan offensive will allow partisanship to shift into a higher gear. The blabber heard yesterday from the liberals will be turned into sagacious sounding warnings by the media, and this will continue to the end. And it will be especially monotonous and irksome. And no useful policy may come from it.
The opponents of the Bush administration and the opponents of the war will ever more loudly shout their warnings about being in a quagmire. What citizens need from the President now is to continue to show his character and that he is every inch a President. He should continue to act boldly and speak plainly, letting his and our courage mount with the occasion. And let Bush and his lieutenants continue to show that they know the disciplines of war. I do not doubt that in the end all will be well, or at least as well as life can be beneath Heaven. But I must say that maybe occasionally a good mouth-filling oath against our enemies and our domestic nay-sayers would be helpful.