Sunday, November 23, 2003

An oldie but a goodie

These are the last paragraphs from "Preparing for War, Stumbling to Peace - U.S. is paying the price for missteps made on Iraq," from the Los Angeles Times for July 18, 2003. The link to the article appears to be no longer valid, so I haven't included it. I. F. Stone used to say that the most interesting part of a story was often at the very end. The "shirttail," he called it. This is a great example. (Emphasis of course added.)
Looking back from the third floor of the Pentagon, Feith dismissed such criticism [of prewar planning for post-war Iraq] as "simplistic." Despite initial problems, he said, progress is being made, with order returning to most of the country and a new Iraqi governing council in place.

Still, he and other Pentagon officials said, they are studying the lessons of Iraq closely - to ensure that the next U.S. takeover of a foreign country goes more smoothly.

"We're going to get better over time,' promised Lawrence Di Rita, a special assistant to Rumsfeld. "We've always thought of post-hostilities as a phase' distinct from combat," he said. "The future of war is that these things are going to be much more of a continuum."

"This is the future for the world we're in at the moment," he said. "We'll get better as we do it more often."

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