About Damn Time

The folks at the Washington Post show how to write a wartime editorial:

Military experts in and outside the Pentagon are confident that allied air and ground forces can overcome Saddam Hussein’s defenses, and there are some who believe that victory will come swiftly and with few casualties. We certainly hope so. But as Mr. Bush rightly warned last night, the war may also be “longer and more difficult than some have predicted.” Iraqi resistance may be bitter; Saddam Hussein and the war criminals around him may use chemical or biological weapons or try to stage terrorist attacks. More American servicemen and women may be killed or wounded than in any previous post-Cold War conflict. One hundred forty-seven died in combat during the Persian Gulf War of 1991, and 36 have died so far in Afghanistan, losses that were painful but relatively light. There will almost certainly be civilian casualties, collateral damage and tragic mistakes, as there are in all wars. Even after Iraqi forces are defeated, U.S. commanders will face a daunting task to maintain security in a country riven with ethnic divisions and long-repressed fury at Saddam Hussein’s brutal apparat.


Unlike some other paper I’ve already mentioned, WaPo knows how to warn without disdain, and without sounding like boilerplate. It’s worthy reading for news junkies.


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