The war had been on for barely a week before the Washington Post, or at least some of its writers, went into an oppositionist mode. Today’s Post includes this article by Alan Sipress: “Image Is Everything at Centcom”. The subtitle reads: “Senior Officials Shift Focus Away From U.S. Military Problems.”
Sipress’ article is a hatchet job on the military leaders at Central Command: “[A]t daily news conferences and private briefings, senior Centcom officials have been more determined to paint Iraqi forces in the darkest possible hues than to shed light on the difficult progress of the military campaign that began nine days ago.” And so on.
Sipress is one of the loudest of the “this is turning out to be more difficult than we thought” chorus. Really, though, his own experience should warn him against getting too hysterical. On November 9, 2001, Sipress wrote an article in the Post titled “Vajpayee Says U.S. Wasn’t Ready for War”, in which he quoted, with obvious approval, the Indian Prime Minister who said that “the United States had not been adequately prepared for the [Afghanistan] campaign;” “it appears the Taliban are well entrenched;” “the U.S. military campaign has suffered from a lack of adequate intelligence;” and “the campaign [will] continue to move slowly” because “it appears America was not prepared for this kind of war.”
Kabul fell four days later.
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