Here’s an absolute jewel (scroll to page 74 of the .pdf):
- The only way to understand the motivations of an opponent is by having a real understanding of the historical and religious framework that has molded his culture. It is clear that Americans who waged the war and who have attempted to mold the aftermath have had no clear idea of the framework that has molded the personalities and attitudes of Iraqis. Finally, it might help if Americans and their leaders were to show less arrogance and more understanding of themselves and their place in history. Perhaps more than any other people, Americans display a consistent amnesia concerning their own past, as well as the history of those around them.
There’s a beautifully understated exasperation to those last two sentences that does my heart good. Too bad (a) it took the Pentagon to say it, and (b) the commander-in-chief will never read it.
Via Justin Logan.