On November 1, New York Times reporter Alissa Rubin has a look back at her experience as a war correspondent in Iraq. It’s mostly interesting, though when she gets to the part where she draws the big lessons, things turn for the worse:
In my five years in Iraq, all that I wanted to believe in was gunned down. Sunnis and Shiites each committed horrific crimes, and the Kurds, whose modern-looking cities and Western ways seemed at first so familiar, turned out to be capable of their own brutality. The Americans, too, did their share of violence, and among the worst they did was wishful thinking, the misreading of the winds and allowing what Yeats called “the blood-dimmed tide” to swell. Could they have stopped it? Probably not. Could it have been stemmed so that it did less damage, saved some of the fathers and brothers, mothers and sons? Yes, almost certainly, yes.
“Americans, too” committed violence in Iraq?Well, yes.And “among the worst they did was wishful thinking”? Well, that’s one way to put it.