It ends today, with Part V. I stuffed a lot into that journal — but I forgot a few things, including something I’d like to tell you here. General Salazar, an American, was talking about Iraq then and Iraq now — Iraq a few years ago and Iraq today. A photo typified then: A vehicle was stuck (or kaput), and an American was pushing from behind, “putting his whole a** into it,” as Salazar said. And an Iraqi was walking alongside, with one hand resting on the steering wheel (or door — I forget) and the other hand holding a cigarette. Now it is the exact opposite: with the Iraqis buckling down and the coalition more in a supportive role.
And yet, as people stressed over and over, Iraq is not yet ready to go it alone — we are not over that hump yet. But that’s what we’re driving toward. And will we have time to finish the job, so as to make our invasion-liberation stick, and avoid another Vietnam? That is the awful question of this next period, as I see it.