A warm welcome to new readers who may have just discovered our site via The Daily Beast, which has now syndicated the article we ran yesterday by former TIME magazine and CNN correspondent Michael Ware. Thanks also to Andrew Sullivan for drawing his readers' attention to the piece, and to the many who have mentioned it on Twitter.
If you haven't yet read Michael Ware's reflections on the Iraq insurgency, do yourself a favour and set aside some time for it today. It's much longer than anything we usually publish on The Interpreter, but you really only get the full force and drama of it when you read it one sitting. I have no hesitation in saying that its one of the finest pieces of writing we've ever published on The Interpreter. Here's Michael describing the moment he realised an insurgency was at hand:
It quickly became evident something tectonic had shifted within these guys I'd come to know...This, I recall thinking, is why I'd been invited for lunch. They had militarised. There were discernible semblances of command and control. They were energised. It would not be long before US forces would only enter this area with great caution and ready to brawl. 'But,' I asked through my translator, 'can you defeat them?'
My friend didn't miss a beat. 'No,' he said, with an are-you-kidding kind of look on his face. 'They're the greatest military on earth, of course we cannot defeat them on the battlefield.' There was simply no way for them to go head-to-head with the occupying forces. But, he continued, they had read Mao, and Ho Chi Ming, and Giap, and Che. 'We will win,' he said to me, with a wry smirk. 'And we'll do it on that,' and he pointed to a dead television set covered in a corner of the room. 'On television.'
Photo by Flickr user The US Army.