National Review's father-figure, William F. Buckley discusses events with fellow-conservatives and strikes a strangely ambivalent note:

What concerns a proud nation is not only moral obligations, but the consequences of a failure to stand by them. In another perspective, to bargain with the criminal is not only to temporize with dishonor, but also to embolden the criminal in his powers to threaten and to intimidate and to extort

...The force of any argument for disconnection requires the prestige and dominance of the leader.There is no point in arguing for withdrawal, unless Mr. Bush beckons us to do so."

Meanwhile, a US officer in Iraq (linked via Mudville Gazette) takes aim at media coverage of the insurgency:
I believe one of the reasons for this shallow and subjective reporting is that many reporters never actually cover the events they report on. This is a point of growing concern within the Coalition.

Robert Fisk has a similar point to make in his latest dispatch (subscriber-only). It goes without saying that he thinks journalists are making life easier for the Coalition by not venturing far afield.

UPDATE: Amidst all the news of kidnappings and violence, Reuters has details of an upbeat opinion poll in Baghdad:

Two-thirds of registered voters in the Iraqi capital say they will cast their
ballots in the Jan. 30 election despite the threat of violence, an independent
Iraqi newspaper survey found Monday. A high turnout in Baghdad, a city
of 5-6 million people, could raise the credibility of polls which are expected
to be marred by suicide bombings by insurgents bent on sabotaging the vote in
the country of 27 million....
The survey in the al-Mada newspaper, one of Iraq's most respected dailies, was conducted last week in eight main districts of Baghdad...

(via Captain's Quarters)

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