Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A question for Bob Woodward

If this new, supersecret counterinsurgency technique is so game-changing in Iraq, why hasn't it been used in Afghanistan, where things have been deteriorating for over a year?

Maybe I'm too hard on Woodward, but he seems to be the David Broder of confidential sources. Broder takes the conventional wisdom on any subject and pronounces it like an amazing revelation, or possibly something he claims to have heard from a local yokel somewhere. Woodward's books on the Iraq war does the same thing with confidential sources whose information just mirrors conventional perception of whether the war's going well or badly, whether Bush is a good or bad leader, etc.

The utility of either journalist is limited. Maybe a slight edge for Woodward in providing sources for historical analysis, long after the fact.

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