War as sporting event

We're starting to get a clearer picture of US strategy and expectations in Iraq as the war looks like it won't end quickly. Doubts are being voiced by military experts and senior officials from the CIA, State Department and the Department of Defense, even though initial predictions by Vice President Dick Cheney and others were that the war would be quick and that "the streets in Basra and Baghdad are sure to erupt in joy."

Maybe they should send sports reporters to the front lines? It makes sense, given that mounting casualties (37), POWs (7), and MIAs (17) are being reported as if the war were a sporting event. And discussion of Iraqi casualties is scarce or non-existent.

Pro-war rallies are becoming more commonplace, even in San Francisco. Whatever shared sympathy one might have with them - a shared support for the troops, a shared interest in helping the Iraqi people, a shared belief in America - is squandered in the face of ignorant, divisive comments by the likes of Leo Lacayo:

"If you don't support the troops, you are anti-American, you are subversives, you are terrorists," said Leo Lacayo, as the crowd chanted "USA! USA!" and waved American flags.

"It doesn't take a lot of courage to stop traffic," he said. "It doesn't take a lot of intellect to run your mouth. It takes real courage to fight for your country against terrorism."