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Can I say “holy crap” again? David Corn, after appearing on Fox News to talk about Rathergate, ran into a former military official that has been in current contact with officers in the field in Iraq, and they are saying “we’ve lost.” From Corn’s blog.

While leaving the bureau, I ran into an acquaintance who is a former military officer. He is a rather knowledgeable chap about Iraq, who has been there several times since the invasion, and he has many contacts and friends within the highest ranks of the Pentagon. What do you think of the latest news from Iraq? I asked him. “We’ve lost,” he said without pause. Lost? Yes, he said, adding, “but this is not just my view.” He told me that the previous day he had been visiting with a pal who is a top commanding officer of the Special Forces. My friend told this commander that he had concluded the United States was a goner in Iraq. The reply: “I knew this was lost five months ago.” Oh shit, my friend thought and waited for the explanation. The commander explained that back then he was driving the six-mile stretch that runs from the Green Zone in Baghdad (where the US diplomatic and military offices are headquartered) to the Baghdad airport. An IED went off and took out the car in front of him. “If we cannot secure the road to the airport, we cannot win this thing,” the commander told my friend. After recounting this conversation to me, my friend said, “A bomb went off today on the road to the airport.”

It is good that military commanders generally keep their noses out of politics and respect their civilian leaders. But there comes a point when they ought to speak their mind for the sake of the troops and for the sake of national security. I don’t know how many senior-level commanders have a view of the war that contradict the happy-talk that Bush spouts on the campaign trail. But if this is a prevalent view–or anything approaching a consensus–the public (and the electorate) deserves to know.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding