Five years in Iraq

/ 19 March 2008

Fill in the blank…

The people of ___ have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiques are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told … It is a disgrace to our imperial record, and may soon be inflamed for any ordinary cure. We are today not far from a disaster.

The missing word: “England”. The author: T.E. Lawrence. The year: 1920. (Hat tip to Scott Horton.)

We are five years in. I shudder to think of how many years it will take to get out. Two days ago MPR broadcast a troubling report on what the war really costs. An honest accounting: three trillion dollars.


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