Wednesday, October 22, 2003

John Tierney, in his New York Times letter from Iraq, puts his finger on the really important question:

Pollsters and journalists have been busy asking Iraqis how they feel about the Americans on their streets, but there is a potentially more important issue. How do the Americans here feel about the Iraqis?

The most significant thing about the various problems he goes on to describe -- Americans giving offense by not understanding local customs, or even the language, and the frustration that engenders on both sides -- is not that they signify American unpreparedness, or suggest an urgent need for assistance from someone else who has a frigging clue, but rather that they might keep the Americans from "feel[ing] comfortable enough in this alien culture to finish the job they started".

It's so good to know we've got our priorities straight...


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