April 23, 2004

The US is waist-deep in the big muddy.

And, as Paul Krugman points out in an excellent column on what's gone wrong in Iraq, the big fools are saying 'push on.'

Now what? There's a growing sense of foreboding, even panic, about Iraq among national security experts. "This is an extremely uncertain struggle," says Mr. Cordesman, who, to his credit, also says the unsayable: we may not be able to "stay the course." But yesterday Condoleezza Rice gave Republican lawmakers what Senator Rick Santorum called "a very upbeat report."

That's very bad news. The mess in Iraq was created by officials who believed what they wanted to believe, and ignored awkward facts. It seems they have learned nothing.

Historical Note: The reference to the 'big muddy' in the headline and first sentence is to a song written by US folksinger Pete Seeger in the mid-1960s, called 'Waist Deep in the Big Muddy.' The 'big muddy' in the song was Vietnam and the 'big fool' who said to 'push on' was President Lyndon Johnson. Seeger was supposed to sing the song on CBS television in 1969, but backed out of the appearance when the network demanded that he drop the verse that made the reference to LBJ obvious.

The NY Times story on the CBS incident is here. The lyrics for the song are here.

Posted by Magpie at April 23, 2004 06:16 AM | Iraq | Technorati links |