(continued from the previous post)
Our military is the finest in the world, and I'm enourmously proud of our fighting men and women. But it's increasingly clear that the best-case scenario is not unfolding. Belated assertions by the Administration that the war may be long, difficult and costly yet again spotlight the Administration's mendacity in selling the war. (That mendacity continues in placating citizens' concerns about unilateral action by exaggerating coalition support.) Worse, by constantly insisting on the best-case scenario, the Administration and its supporters has given Saddam a potent political weapon and placed our military in a difficult position.
Another risk is that, while public support for the war remains high even in the face of recent casualties, a considerable segment of the American public has long qualified its essential support of Bush's war plan; the Administration's spin on coalition numbers is evidence it recognizes that fact. Another reservation the public expressed was concerns about American, and Iraqi civilian, casualties. The Administration's dismissal of these concerns while selling its war plans risks support for the war that is broad but not deep.
Of course the outcome of the war, as the Administration keeps insisting, is never in doubt. But that certain outcome can come at a high price, and not just in American and Iraqi lives. Will is quite right to point out that conservatives should by nature make clear that war is always an uncertain and costly effort. What a pity that they're only belatedly embracing that principle when it becomes necessary to explain a war that isn't quite going according to plan.