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This front-page report on Iraq in the Washington Post—which notes that it’s proving exceedingly difficult to train Iraqi forces, a task which may take years and years—is today’s big splash of cold water on the idea that we’re somehow turning the corner and getting blinded by all that end-of-tunnel light. A few conservative blogs have suggested that the Post‘s report was biased and chose to focus on training failures. But how is that? U.S. military commanders chose the Iraqi unit the Post could accompany. Presumably, we’re getting a picture of one of the better functioning Iraqi units around. Anyway, to show that bad news from Iraq isn’t just a liberal media thing, read this report on Basra from the National Review‘s Stephen Vincent. Or this report that insurgents in Iraq are making “bigger and better bombs.” Or this report that the Sunni minority is rejecting political compromise. As Juan Cole pointed out in Salon yesterday, at some point endless optimism about Iraq, when unwarranted, ends up becoming a security concern in and of itself.


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