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******p> Some Instant Analysis (posted 3/25/03 1:51 p.m.) br> Depending on who you talk to or what you read, the war is going either well or badly for the U.S. (How’s that for going out on a limb?) This split appears to be a continuation of prewar divisions of opinion, and not just at home. “World Media Turns Wary Eye on U.S.,” reports the Wall Street Journal . “The war in Iraq is arguably the first in which skeptical coverage by non-U.S. media … is front and center,” the Journal ‘s reporter writes. An editorial today in the French newspaper Libération , warns (or should I say gloats?): “The ‘police’ war, a war of liberation imagined by the hawks of Washington, will undoubtedly not take place. While the war grows more warlike, i.e. fatal, destructive and painful, even an American military victory will sound in the end like yet another political defeat for the United States.” /p>
On the other hand, a Canadian like David Warren offers joy to Andrew Sullivan’s heart (though Sullivan admits to not being a military expert) by saying the war is going “fabulously well” — and making a good case that it is.
Domestically, meanwhile, a certain theme is emerging, though it seems to absolve the media for its early over-optimism. A letter writer to the New York Times makes the point well: “The hubris of the Bush administration may be coming back to haunt it as the war in Iraq continues…. It appears the Iraqi regime has learned form its military mistakes in the first gulf war. Unfortunately, the war may be longer and bloodier than most people expected.” Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who at least isn’t Paul Krugman, observes today: “What troubles me most about the way the invasion has begun is that the war plans seem to be based not just on our first-rate military expertise, but also on hunches by ideologues in Washington who have never set foot in Iraq.”
Related to this are worries that our ground forces are overextended and too small in number and thus sure could use backup from another Army division, a point not only made by Army ground commanders to Washington Post reporters, but also raised as a worry with an otherwise confident Ralph Peters in a special Post op-ed.