One year ago

There’s all sorts of “One Year Later” coverage all over the web, so I don’t know how much I’m going to post on it. Looking at my posts from March 19th, 2003, though I see

BAGHDAD 21:40 19 Mar 2003
Hannity says Reuters says air raid sirens in Baghdad.

Update 21:46 19 Mar 2003
Ari Fleischer said the disarmament of Iraq has begun.

I was watching Hannity & Colmes on FoxNews, and they had just finished arguing about the projected cost of the war. I had just finished a little post on the subject called “$$$”. My closing paragraph:

If this war is ‘right’, the cost in dollars should not matter. Never mind that a free Iraq offers many possibilities of economic return. If the war is ‘wrong’, would it be less ‘wrong’ if it was less expensive? Would a ‘wrong’ war become a ‘right’ war at the right price?

Today’s Washington Post has an “analysis” piece that, predictably, gives the impression that we’ve been all but defeated in our purpose in Iraq. It’s entitled “Off the Mark on Cost of War, Reception by Iraqis” and it does point out many inconsistencies, many of which found Pentagon numbers and predictions much more reliable than the White House’s. What it misses, though is the big picture. For the cost issue, see my post from a year ago today. As for the reception by the Iraqis, I don’t think anyone who predicted a warm reception meant throngs of celebratory citizens like in 1944 Holland and Belgium, but I could be wrong. What is clear, though, is that “stories’ like this dismiss the predictions without really really going into details. ‘Why is that?’, you ask.

Well, because if you read the accounts of journalists and military personnel who were actually there witnessing events, the predictions weren’t all that far off. While we didn’t get a lot of “I♥USA” banners or bubbling bottles of champagne, we did receive a pretty good reception from the majority of Iraqis civilians. If you read first-hand accounts of the invasion, you will see over and over again the care that our soldiers took around civilians and the moderately warm attitude expressed by most of the locals.

Now, you may charge that ALL the writers and military personnel are lying, and that ALL the big media representations of what really happened are correct, but that doesn’t really make much sense to me.

One year later, Iraq is more or less where we said it would be. The level of resistance is still higher than we expected, and the dollar amount IS far greater than predicted, but we have passed through the most dangerous and trying times, I think, and we are picking up speed as we go.

UPDATE: DefenseTech points out the same WaPo story and links to a Christian Science Monitor story with this nifty scorecard of sorts:
The whole story? Of course not. But important.