Tuesday, July 31, 2007
George Packer has questions on O'Hanlon/Pollack piece
Who organized their schedule?
How much time did they spend in each place they visited (Baghdad, Ramadi, Mosul, Tal Afar)?
How many Iraqis did they speak with, and whom? Did they meet Iraqis without American officers present?
What could and couldn’t they independently confirm from their briefings by military sources? For example, how do they know that, in Mosul and Tal Afar, “the Iraqis have stepped up to the plate. Reliable police officers man the checkpoints in the cities, while Iraqi Army troops cover the countryside”?
Well, judging from their myriad appearances on the tee-vee yesterday, the answer to that first question is the miliatry. They apparently organized the whole thing. The rest, I don't know.
Packer also points out the upbeat notes struck in the piece, which contrasts markedly with their recent skepticism and pessismism on the war, and he ends with a zinger: "What’s missing from the Op-Ed is a necessary humility."