This blog entry isn't recommended reading. It's required reading. It's required for anyone who wants to understand what this war was about; why it was a bad idea in the first place; why our soldiers weren't universally greeted as liberators when they arrived; and why it is not going to be possible to "win" now, more than 2 1/2 years after the original invasion.
And this is not all Bush's fault here either--though his administration is of course responsible not only for initiating the invasion, but also for botching the occupation so badly--because the problem started long before then. It started with the sanctions that denied basic necessities to the people of Iraq while Saddam continued to build his palaces. It continued with the profiteers in the U.N. Oil for Food scandal. It reached heights of absurdity with Madeleine Albright's declaration that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children as a direct product of the completely ineffective sanctions (inasmuch as they were supposed to help lead to the overthrow of Saddam) was a price worth paying.
You see, we weren't going to be greeted as liberators because to many Iraqis, the West had profited from more Iraqi deaths than Saddam Hussein ever had, and now that we've invaded, we've already killed 100,000 more civilians in the past 2 1/2 years. That's a mass-murdering rampage spree that even Saddam would be proud of--even prouder than he'd be of Abu Ghraib's new management.
But don't worry, American politicians. Just stay the course--because now that we're there, we have to win. If you can even figure out what that means.