Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (Yet Another New Republic Edition)
Remember, Remember, the Seventh of November--2000, That Is

Fred Hiatt Is Shrill. Two and a Half Years Late. And About $600 Billion Dollars Short.

Two and a half years too late, Fred Hiatt and the Washington Post editorial staff are shrill:

How to Lose a War - washingtonpost.com: How to Lose a WarThe Bush administration's mismanagement of Iraq has been chronicled in shocking detail.... U.S. chances for success would have been far better than they are today were it not for the overwhelming and shocking incompetence with which the administration has managed the war. From the failure to produce a coherent postwar plan to the disastrous performance by the occupation authority that was belatedly installed, the Bush team turned a difficult mission into a near-impossible one. President Bush and his most senior aides meanwhile stubbornly refused to listen to advisers who warned of the consequences of their policies.

In-depth accounts by journalists are beginning to provide a detailed picture of what has gone wrong in Iraq and why....

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld monopolized administration planning for Iraq, repeatedly misjudged the tactics and resources needed for success, and ignored reports from his own top aides about how the war was going wrong.... Rumsfeld's Pentagon excluded the State Department from reconstruction planning, then failed to produce any plan of its own.... L. Paul Bremer... more fateful mistakes... staff members... picked on the basis of Republican political affiliation... people in their twenties were handed control... he triumph of ideology and arrogance over the pragmatism that is needed to recover from errors or adjust to changing conditions.

Having dispatched too few troops to Iraq at the beginning of the war, Mr. Rumsfeld has perpetuated this signal failing for 3 1/2 years. Having ignored reconstruction in prewar planning, the administration then excluded the professionals who might have made the occupation authority successful.

Mr. Bush himself refused to take one of the essential steps needed to remedy the resulting mess -- replacing Mr. Rumsfeld -- despite repeatedly being advised to do so by his own chief of staff, among others. The result... is a defense secretary who has lost the confidence of the military he directs. Even more disturbing is the portrait of a president who, with two years left in his term, seems unable to come to terms with the damaging and dangerous situation he has helped to create -- much less imagine a way out of it.

We continue to agree with Mr. Bush that it would be wrong and dangerous for U.S. troops simply to withdraw. But it is also dangerous when leaders such as Mr. Bush, Vice President Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld continue to resist reality.

Two and a half years late, Fred. Too late Fred. And too little.

Too wimpy an ending, Fred. It is not just dangerous to have Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld at the head of this country's executive branch, it is unpatriotic not to call for their immediate removal.

And, Fred, it is not the case that journalists "are beginning to provide a detailed picture of what has gone wrong." Washington Post journalists are as late to the party as you are. Real journalists--those of Knight-Ridder, for example--have been providing us with pictures of what was going on since the middle of 2002. If, Fred, you had any class at all, you would refer to their real news.

If, Fred, you won't call on Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld to quit and--if they do not--for Congress to remove them, then what you should do is obvious. Fred, you should quit. And, Fred, don't wait two and a half more years to do so.

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