Insurance titan, improv comic and regular reader Phillip Brown tipped me to this valuable site done by freelance photographer/writer Michael Yon, who has spent plenty of time in Iraq. Check it out here for a perspective not often seen in the mainstream media.
Yon says that in fact there has been political progress in Iraq despite what appears to be internecine chaos in the Parliament, which has been abandoned by legislators who somehow believe that taking a month’s vacation is the right course of action.
You have to respect a guy who has been out there, taken the risks and seen it first hand. I’ll be adding Yon’s blog to my list. I share many of his beliefs and hopes, especially this one:
General Petraeus may well prove to be to counterinsurgency warfare what Patton was to tank battles with Rommel, or what Churchill was to the Nazis.
Let it be so. But at the risk of sounding like the typical armchair pundit writing safely at home, I wonder, as I have before, about that phrase, “may well prove to be.”
May well prove to be–when? Unfortunately, due to the waste and stupidity that dogged the first three years of the occupation, Gen. Petraeus may not get very much time to prove himself. And while I’m against politicians trying to micromanage any war, not just this one, I think some of Yon’s scorn for Washington’s “benchmarks” and progress reports is misplaced.
As long as we’re footing the bill in blood and treasure, the Iraqis have to submit to some kind of measurements, however faulty, ordered by Washington. It’s not like the war is some biology class experiment that can be indefinitely prolonged while we disagree over the quantity and quality of evidence.