TEXAS IS THE REASON
An anecdote from today's New York Times Week in Review:
...one day last year the credibility gap at the American command's weekly press briefings led to one of the war's best-remembered exchanges. The spokesman, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, had produced yet another handsome chart...
[It showed] the men of Mr. Zarqawi's network, dead or detained. If accurate, the chart seemed to portend just what Gen. Lynch said, big trouble for Al Qaeda. So the general, a Texan who allies a liking for Jack Daniels and Harley-Davidsons to a distaste for vapid thinking, was not pleased when a reporter asked how it was possible for so many Qaeda loyalists to be eliminated, and for the group's killing to be unabated.
... "Ma'am," the general said, advancing on the questioner, "the reason Al Qaeda is continuing to spread its terror across Iraq is because Abu Musab al-Zarqawi" -- here he paused, as if savoring the self-parody and signalling the futility of any answer -- "just...ain't...payin'...attention."
Perfect: a macho jerk arrogantly declaring that we were winning, goddammit, and if that damnfool Zarqawi would only figure out that obvious fact, he'd stop killing people.
If that's the prevailing mode of thinking, no wonder we've been up to our necks in this quagmire for three years.