The images coming out of Iraq are troubling, to say the least. For one of the most complete overviews, see The New Yorker's reporting.
There's a host of issues here. How does a group of "regular joes" get involved in something so wrong? Time offers an analysis here. Bottom line, it could be any of us, and that's just damn scary.
And, how in the world are we going to get out of this whole bloom'n mess? I'm struck by the comments of some senior Pentagon officials, and realize that all the "stuff" covered in the Naval War College's "Strategy & Policy" course wasn't just bs.
A comment which hit home for me, but has more to do with my ongoing issues with leadership in my own organization, concludes the New Yorker piece: "The leadership does not like to have people make bad news public.” How is it that leaders seem to think that bad news will grow sweeter smelling with age, or that a lack of transparency is ever a good thing? I'm in the midst of reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, and am not amazed at anything. Saddened, yes. Amazed, no. This latest chapter of American history just seems to embody a long line of history for our nation, on the micro and on the macro level.