Monday, August 07, 2006
Too early for history to be written
I came to believe that those in positions of highest responsibility for Iraq showed a carelessness about human life that amounted to criminal negligence. Swaddled in abstract ideas, convinced of their own righteousness, incapable of self-criticism, indifferent to accountability they turned a difficult undertaking into a needlessly deadly one. When things went wrong, they found other people to blame. The Iraq War was always winnable; it still is. For this very reason, the recklessness ofand which the authour of course has since recanted "By now, I'm quite grim, and I would not have written that line in the present tense. The armed militias are running the show. The young and the dispossessed and the angry and the religious have become the wave of the future."
its authours is all the harder to forgive.
But the major flaw of the Assassin's Gate is the same as so many other war books - journalists rarely write good history books. The skill sets are too different. Journalists write short article for immediate & disposable consumption. Good history books need a permanence, a broader vision than journalists possess. There's also the matter of time - for a good book on the current war, we'll have to wait until 2037 for sufficient perspective, so I'll plan skip any tomes written in the interim on the current Iraq War.