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A Bore of a War

12.05.2005 08:40 | DISPATCHES

James Fallows's article in the December Atlantic Monthly, "Why Iraq Has No Army" (for subscribers only, but currently available online elsewhere) is as explosive as it is comprehensive. An excerpt:

"'There is still no sense of urgency,' T. X. Hammes [Marine Corps colonel and author who served in Iraq] says. In August, he pointed out, the administration announced with pride that it had bought 200 new armored vehicles for use in Iraq. 'Two-plus years into the war, and we're proud! Can you imagine if in March of 1944 we had proudly announced two hundred new vehicles?' By 1944 American factories had been retooled to produce 100,000 warplanes. 'From the president on down there is no urgency at all.'"

Comparisons to the US war effort in World War II, including sacrifice and commitment on the part of the public, are so depressing. Meanwhile, Fallows cites another Marine colonel:

"'You tell me who in the White House devotes full time to winning this war.' The answer seems to be [file under: Bet you didn't know that] Meghan O'Sullivan, a former Brookings scholar who is now the president's special assistant for Iraq. . . . since taking the job, late last year, she has made no public speeches or statements about the war."

It's fairly disconcerting to think that the White House views Iraq as just another issue. Especially since, as David Von Drehle shows in his November 13 Sunday Washington Post Magazine article "Wrestling with History," Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld isn't all that interested either.


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