Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

U.S. Army Soldiers pay final respects during a memorial service July 20, 2009, honoring three fallen comrades killed in action from a rocket attack on Contingency Operating Base Basra, Iraq, July 16, 2009. The Soldiers are assigned to the 34th Infantry Division's 34th Military Police Company, Special Troops Battalion. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Tyler Maulding

I wanted to offer a wry chuckle before we headed into the heavy stuff about Iraq, so I tried to start this article with a suitably ironic formulation. You know, a déjà-vu-all-over-again kinda thing. I even thought about telling you how, in 2011, I contacted a noted author to blurb my book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, and he presciently declined, saying sardonically, “So you’re gonna be the one to write the last book on failure in Iraq?”

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