Roger L. Simon

The Fog of War Gets Foggier

As if we needed a reminder, if there’s one thing the Rather Affair teaches us, it is to distrust sources of information. And that includes this one, whatever paltry mix of opinion and information I give – and that’s not much.

But the War in Iraq goes on with the body count mounting at an alarming rate. What to make of it? Andrew, as has been his wont of late, has his finger inching ever closer to the panic button. He has his reasons. The reports, like this one he cites from the respected Financial Times, are not good. He also refers to a “classified” National Intelligence Estimate, which is the subject of a New York Times article. As with most such reports, what we are reading are the whispers of various spooks, but still the news, although predictable, is not good. Basically the intelligence estimators tell us the near future looks a. horrific (civil war), b. extremely grim or c. more of the grim-enough status quo.

I’m sure many of us could have written that, but never mind. If you’re looking for a little optimism, turn as usual to Iraq the Model where Omar is doing one of his rundowns of Arab public opinion posted on the BBC board (a particularly literate group, obviously). Who to believe – Omar or Andrew’s establishment ‘opiners’? All? None? Beats me. But I do know this. We have to stick this out and we have to win it somehow, even if it takes a decade or more. The alternative is truly horrific – and it doesn’t take a National Intelligence Estimate to figure that out.

UPDATE: Wretchard of The Belmont Club does his homework while others rant. This post is vastly more interesting and specific than anything so far revealed in the National Intelligence Estimate cited by Sullivan.