June 8 - I'm sitting here with a gloomy letter from Iraq, written by a high-ranking officer I cannot name in a branch of service I cannot name in a part of the country I cannot name. But trust me, because I trust him. Iraqis, he says, have no feel for or belief in the democracy we want to create, and our occupation is making them less, not more, capable of self-government.
"Our eventual departure," he worries, "will leave nothing but cosmetic structure here." "Every mission," he writes, "requires a conscious escape from the resignation that there is nothing here to win and every occasion to fail."
Small miracles do happen -- a child is saved, a generator is installed. There remain "possibilities." But sullen eyes along the roadsides give this officer "the feeling that we have stayed too long but can not leave."
The difference between a source saying "Interrogator X flushed a Koran on day Y" and the above sentiments should be reasonably obvious.
And for the life of me, I can't understand what he means by "so soon after the Newsweek Koran-flushing debacle." Is Newsweek required to stand down from using anonymous sources for a specific period of time?