Date: December 1st., 2005
Sent to but not published in the New York Times

Despite President Bush's upbeat assessment yesterday, every step we take in Iraq is a mis-step.

The latest to come to light is the possibility that the Army has been "placing" positive stories in the Iraq press. These showcase the good things that America is doing in Iraq.

The problem is of course twofold. First, that is the kind of thing Saddam used to do, so our protestations of a higher morality, like the case of Abu Ghraib ring hollow in the ears of the Iraqis. We need to demonstrate and act out that higher morality not just talk about it. Second, those are probably the stories that President Bush and his inept intelligence suppliers used to provide the underpinnings of yesterday's speech. We have come to belive our own propaganda!

Everything we touch in Iraq turns to dust. It is time to withdraw.