They say the war is over.

I was listening to a story on the radio the other day. They were talking about a video taped message released by an Iraqi group. I don’t recall who released the message, or for that matter what the message was. All I recall is that this was supposed to be some heretofore anonymous group of Iraqi citizens expressing their anger. The individual on the videotape was doing so with a Kalashnikov assault riffle in his hands.

Before this conflict began I remember hearing stories about the quick demise of the regime, and the flood of gratitude that was sure to come from liberating the people of Iraq from Saddam’s reign. Now I listen to the news and I wonder. Were our expectations realistic? Are we getting the whole story from the news? Is it better than I think? Is it worse? Here’s what I’ve gathered from the news, as a casual observer… there are little to no basic services being provided to the public in Iraq. Efforts to rebuild infrastructures that make the delivery of these basic services possible have been slow and hampered by sabotage. More U.S. personnel have been injured or killed since the war ended. Frustration is mounting on all sides.

How often is gratitude expressed with a Kalashnikov assault riffle?

I am the first to admit that I have done no research to verify these statements. They merely reflect the “gist” that I have culled from news broadcasts over the last several months. But am I alone? Talking with friends and coworkers leads me to believe that they hold similar views. So what do we have, other than an unscientific collection of non-random anecdotes? How about a unscientific collection of anecdotes that is based something less than the whole story? I write this only as a disclaimer… I have no idea what I’m talking about (like you didn’t know that already).

So I admit that I don’t know. I just wish I believed that our leaders know.