From your link:Mr. Ricks sees the Abu Ghraib scandal not as an anomalous incident but as “the logical and predictable outcome of a series of panicky decisions made by senior commanders, which in turn had resulted from the divided, troop-poor approach devised months earlier by Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Franks.”Mr. Ricks notes that the Bush administration has tended “to dismiss critics as 'Monday morning quarterbacks,' ” but he points out that that phrase “conveniently disregarded the fact that many of the critics had expressed their worries before the war even began.”I'm glad that Thomas Ricks is now publishing a scathing summary of the disastrous Iraq war. I just have one question:What took him so long?As he notes, it was all quite predictable. Many people were warning of this scenario long before the shooting started. Ricks had the past three years and the influential pages of The Washington Post at his disposal. And as soon as the statue fell and the country erupted in an orgy of violence, looting, and political reprisals, it was clear to anyone with a brain that we were in big trouble in Iraq. So why wasn't Ricks screaming this on the pages of his newspaper? Yeah, Iraq is a strategic blunder of immense proportions. But it's too late now to do anything about it. We've destroyed the country, increased Iran's grip on the Middle East, and given every tyrant there a wonderful excuse to postpone democratic reforms ("Do you want another Iraq?"). But this was all too clear three years ago. Too bad Ricks had nothing of substance to say then, when it might have made a difference.Ricks' book is long overdue. Hat's off to him for writing it. But it also shows what's wrong with our press. They are too willing to repeat the spin coming from our political leaders, and rarely question conventional wisdom until it is too late. Or if they do question it, they include a rebuttal from the Administration, and leave it at that. Hey, how about some actual reporting???And there are still other important subjects that are being ignored today. Why aren't there more reports in major newspapers about Bush's power grab? His abuse of the constitution? Is a well known reporter going to write that book in five years, when even more damage has been done? Where is the reporting on the systematic torture being carried out by our military around the world? Why isn't this on the front page of the Washington Post every day? If true - and there is plenty of documented evidence - the US is guilty of war crimes. Isn't that worth a front page story? Shouldn't Rumsfeld be hauled in front of Congress to address these charges? Again, how much longer will we have to wait, and how many more people will be tortured before this happens? I know it will be unpopular, since too many Americans are in favor of the torture of terrorists (even though most of these people are not terrorists). But it's the press's job to point out our hypocrisy. And so on, and so on, and so on.....We need a press with the guts to take on our leaders. To scream things that are wrong but perhaps unpopular to say. Instead, we have reporters that don't want to rock the boat. They want to be invited to nice events and stay friends with their sources. They don't want to report difficult truths that go against the current narrative, because they know it will require too much work and too much heartache. Better to play it safe.Ricks thinks Iraq is a screw up? Tell us something we all don't know...--JC
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