No good can come of it

Transcript of an interesting discussion with Dana Priest on The Washington Post forums. After some pointed answers to intelligent reader questions, Ms. Priest, the Post’s Intelligence correspondent, ends her chat with this chilling assessment:

Many of you ask me to predict what would happen in Iraq. To you, I’d say that it is impossible to know right now. The resistance seems to be gaining in strength and effectiveness and US intelligence and Iraq experts say that if the US cracks down on general population, regular Iraqis may join the opposition too. Or they could be intimidated into joining. I disagree with those who say these attacks are a sign of desperation. They are, I believe, a sign of an adaptive enemy who is fighting effectively against an overwhelming strong army–not tank to tank, so to speak, but asymetrically where US forces are the most vulnerable.

<rhetorical>Why is it that the clear-eyed assessments of the situation only exist outside of the officialdom responsible for the war?</rhetorical>