Sullivan gets it right:
There’s not much point in sugar-coating what happened. It was a great victory for the Baathists and international terror. If they can keep this up, the chances of a peaceful reconstruction in Iraq look more remote than they did last week. Why? Not because this was that sophisticated an attack, but because it was relatively unsophisticated. Not so much because the Baathists can win, but because they don’t have to. All they have to do is prevent the coalition from winning, which keeps Iraq in limbo, and tilts American public opinion against the war. I’m not an expert but obviously we need a more successful military strategy to defeat these insurgents.
Obviously. If this sort of thing continues, there is no way to avoid the perception of Iraq as a quagmire. And perception is always more powerful than reality. Always.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.