The Bush administration no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.
"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground. We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning . . . We set out to establish a democracy, but we're slowly realizing we will have some form of Islamic republic . . . We didn't calculate the depths of feeling in both the Kurdish and Shiite communities for a winner-take-all attitude."
- senior Washington official involved in the planning of the war
"We've said we won't leave a day before it's necessary. But necessary is the key word -- necessary for them or for us? When we finally depart, it will probably be for us."
- U.S. official
Sounds to me like the Washington Post found at least two career staffers within the planning side of the war -- probably either State Department or Pentagon -- who are willing to comment freely on the current expectations that their planners really have, regardless of whether it gives the Bush administration a black eye or not.
Such embarrassing statements from senior Washington non-politicos are getting more common lately, even though such people could lose their careers over it. They apparently sense blood in the water, or simply are fed up at what they've had to deal with and are not willing to take it anymore. No love lost there, apparently...