Mark Steyn has written yet another great column.
"Meanwhile, back in the real world, the glass in Iraq is three-quarters full, which is why stories on the subject are buried so deep in the paper they might as well be in Sandy's gusset. Saddam's old prison state is now the first Arab country with a non-Arab head of state: a Kurd, Jalal Talabani. When you're trying to make sense of the bewildering array of Iraqi politicians who prospered in the January elections, a good rule of thumb is: Chances are they're guys who've been stiffed by the CIA. President-to-be Talabani fell out with them a decade ago, when they pulled the plug on a U.S.-backed insurrection at 48 hours' notice and failed to pay the late cancellation fee. Talabani was part of the Kurdish delegation that had a ''secret'' meeting with CIA honchos in April 2002, in which the drollest exchange came when the Kurds expressed skepticism as to whether the officials present really represented the U.S. government."
We have so many intelligence agencies with so many diverse missions that I'm reasonably certain there exists in some black budget an appropriation for five new letters for the alphabet to cover the requirement for new acronyms. And the empirical evidence supports Steyn's contention that whatever we are paying, we aren't getting results. Compound the dismal track record of these bureaucracies with the added mantle of naked political brinkmanship normally found inside Ivy League governing boards or the lower grade of Yahoo internet chat rooms and you have a recipe for (continued) embarrassment and failure.
We are arrived at that stage of transition in Iraqi domestic affairs where IRAQI people and government are the pivot on which success or failure will be determined. Coalition forces are riding shotgun on convoys and actively seeking out and destroying bad guys, yes, but it is the Iraqis that are making the decisions that will define their society from here on out. We have never gotten any coverage closer than agenda- colored speculation from our mainline media outlets, and the pundit herd has been reduced to interviewing themselves since shortly after the Iraqi elections.
Our media and the failed, gormless, classless, feckless, pointless, gutless, (I'll gladly accept suggestions for more appropriate adjectives in comments) liberal power elite it still seeks to support can't mention Iraq unless they can reference a recognizable buzzword. What is left of the organized opposition understood this well enough to uselessly sacrifice scores of their cannon fodder in the neighborhood of Abu Ghraib last week just to get air time.
We've buried the bad guys under relentless pursuit and attack. Killing the breathing ones now is well and good, but it is actually the electric lights, schools, flush toilets, telephones, hospitals, government classes, and free press that stand as proof for the remaining population that we really mean it when we say we want THEM to be free, in spite of what they read in our papers and watch on our TV networks. They must choose to be free; they must take to heart that our two years' effort represents a chance to break away from thousands of years of cyclic despotism.
The silence of the media heartens me once I am able to get past my disgust at their childish tactics.