Jeff notes a post from Lump on a Blog which makes a lot of good points regarding war coverage, which Jeff echoes in his own post.
I agree with Lumpy, but the chances of Iraq looking even remotely like a theocracy are practically zero. It's amazing to me that anyone takes it seriously. Even the Shia clerics don't want a theocracy. In fact, as far I can tell, no one in Iraq is even seriously suggesting rule by clerics.
The “Iraqi theocracy” meme seems to be the 2005 edition of the 2004 “elections will never happen” meme advanced by Chomsky and others.
I think I already know what the 2006 memes are going to be: “The troops will never come home” followed closely by “We’re cutting and running” when the troops do come home.
Then for the next 5 years the press will breathlessly report every little snag as evidence the whole mission was a failure, ignoring the free press and democracy and prosperity until suddenly we wake up one day and Iraq has become W Germany.
Hey, it wouldn’t be the first time.
“The troops returning home are worried. ‘We’ve lost the peace,’ men tell you. ‘We can’t make it stick.’ ... Friend and foe alike, look you accusingly in the face and tell you how bitterly they are disappointed in you as an American. ... Never has American prestige in Europe been lower.... Instead of coming in with a bold plan of relief and reconstruction we came in full of evasions and apologies.... A great many Europeans feel that the cure has been worse than the disease. The taste of victory had gone sour in the mouth of every thoughtful American I met.”
-- Life Magazine, January 7, 1946