My intemperate language earlier today is informed by my seeing "No End In Sight" last night. Day after day of observing the inexcusable can render one numb after a while. You can forget the trajectory of the deception and incompetence and recklessness of the last six years, and focus, as we should, on what can be done now, how to make things better in practice, how to rate the options in front of us. But at times, it's worth looking back in anger.
The documentary is not perfect; it is not as polished as, say "Taxi to The Dark Side"; it gets bogged down in a few places. But it is worth seeing again what Baghdad was the morning after it was liberated: still a viable city, still a place where sane, non-sectarian Iraqis with education and decency could see, if only dimly, a way forward. You see and hear also from the many good people who did their best in this effort across the government and, of course, in the military; and the many Iraqis who were eager at first to join hands and build a new country. Even then, it would have been very, very hard. We'll never know for sure if it was going to be impossible. But we do know that, with this president and vice-president and defense secretary Rumsfeld, what chance we had was consciously, arrogantly, recklessly, criminally thrown away. The toll in human life, in American honor, in American power, in financial waste, and in the war on terror will be up to historians to measure. But it is immense.