Let's all forget this word "insurgency." It's one of the most misleading words of all. Insurgency assumes that we had gone to Iraq and won the war and a group of disgruntled people began to operate against us and we then had to do counter-action against them. That would be an insurgency. We are fighting the people we started the war against. We are fighting the Ba'athists plus nationalists. We are fighting the very people that started -- they only choose to fight in different time spans than we want them to, in different places. We took Baghdad easily. It wasn't because be won. We took Baghdad because they pulled back and let us take it and decided to fight a war that had been pre-planned that they're very actively fighting. The frightening thing about it is, we have no intelligence. Maybe it's -- it's -- it is frightening, we have no intelligence about what they're doing. A year-and-a-half ago, we're up against two and three-man teams. We estimated the cells operating against us were two and three people, that we could not penetrate. As of now, we still don't know what's coming next. There are 10, 15-man groups. They have terrific communications.The first rule of war: plans never survive contact with the enemy. Just goes to show how absurd the "Mission Accomplished" banner in May 2003 was. As if we needed more proof.
Hersh is also wondrous about precisely the historical question thing: how did such a small group manage to take on and take over such a huge immovable object as the U.S.'s foreign policy and defense establishment and move it so far down one particular path? Regardless of whether you think that Bush and Co. have chosen the proper path, one can't help but regard with incredulity and (grudging) admiration just how far they've taken us.
Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan