We Were Greeted As Liberators

The invaluable John Burns, interviewed by Tim Russert on Iraq (cognitive dissonance, by the way, in response to his picture; I had a completely different image). The bad news is he doesn't sound sanguine:
my guess is that history will say that the forces that we liberated by invading Iraq were so powerful and uncontrollable that virtually nothing the United States might have done...would have effectively prevented this disintegration that is now occurring.
But he makes several interesting observations. First, he corrects Russert's mockery of the notion our troops would be greeted as liberators:
to be fair, the American troops were greeted as liberators. We saw it. It lasted very briefly, it was exhausted very quickly...I think that the instincts that led to much that went wrong were good American instincts: the desire not to have too heavy of a footprint, the desire to empower Iraqis.
He puts much of the blame for miscalculation on journalists...himself included. He says they didn't understand the effect that 30 years of repression would have on Iraqi spirits --their very capacity to stand up for themselves as we want them to.
I suppose you'd have to say people like myself enabled what happened, the decisions made here to go into Iraq and I'm not going to apologize for that.
I've been to, I think many of the world's nastiest places in a 30 year career as a foreign correspondent for the New York Times and Iraq was, by a long way saving only North Korea, the nastiest place I've ever been. It was a truly terrible place and what I think we were transfixed by was the notion that if you could remove this carapace of terror and you could liberate the Iraqi people, many good things would happen. We just didn't understand, and perhaps didn't work hard enough to understand, what lay beneath this carapace which is a deeply fractured society
Curtsy: Hugh Hewitt