As the Caissons Go Rolling

In the Civil War, caissons were used to bring artillery and ammunition to the front lines.  After the battle, with a morbid dual-purpose, they were used to move the dead soldiers.  

Yesterday, a roadside bomb killed four U.S. soldiers in Baghdad, pushing the overall American death toll in the five-year war to at least 4,000.

Five years hence, why are the caissons still rolling?  Read this interesting prespective from David Brooks on the News Hour (relayed through Eric Black):

JIM LEHRER: Finally, your thoughts, five years of the Iraq war, what are you thinking about right now, David…


… about the war and the rest? What needs to be said about it? Let’s put it that way.

Well, it’s been a searing experience for the country and for a lot of us. I would say it’s changed my view of the world quite dramatically, as I look back.

And I think what I knew, but didn’t practice, was the sense that societies are complex, organic organism, more complex than we can possibly understand. And if you’re going to intervene…

You mean other societies than our own?

BROOKS: Ours, too. Ours, too.


And if you’re going to intervene in a society, you have to respect the complexity and respect your own ignorance of that complexity. And that’s something every conservative should really know. But sometimes those facts were held in abeyance in the enthusiasm of the moment.

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