Still more goal-post-moving on

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April 2, 2003 11:42 a.m.

Still more goal-post-moving on the right.

Andrew Sullivan notes an editorial in Today’s New York Times as an example of a broad defense of Don Rumsfeld.

If you’re a member of the Rummy screwed-it-up department, it must be a little disconcerting to read the New York Times editorial this morning. When the viscerally, uncompromisingly anti-Bush Times pooh-poohs the notion of a military miscalculation, then the media tide must surely be turning.

He seems to have missed the deeper point of the editorial: that the immediate military problems are not so bad, but that the Pentagon’s and the administration’s political assumptions were poor and that they don’t presage positive results in the future. A few selections …

The Iraqi response to the American and British troops may warm up when Baghdad is taken. But so far, resistance in the south has been spoiling much of the original war plan … The big failure has been in political assessment, and the expectation that southern Iraqis would welcome the American troops and offer minimal resistance … The United States badly misjudged the Iraqis going into the war, and there seems little reason to hope that we will be much smarter when it comes to nation-building … From the beginning, the great challenge of Iraq has seemed to be less about winning the war than about securing the peace, and everything that has happened in the last two weeks reinforces that assessment.

Why the selective reading?

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