I've been working on a story this week on reactions to the latest round of leaked military documents from the Iraq war. While transcribing a conversation with one of my sources today I realized I had an incredibly illuminating four sentence summary of where we are as a country.
As a backgrounder: 400,000 pages of classified documents concerning coalition forces’ actions during the war -- together known as the 'Iraq War Logs' -- were leaked by the international organization WikiLeaks, and then released by several international publications Oct. 22.
The documents cover a wide-span of the war. The leak has been called the greatest in the history of the U.S. military.
The conversation I had was with Jeremy Varon, an associate professor of history at The New School in New York City. He said, simply:
"I think the United States is deep, deep, deep down a horrible path. And I thought Obama would put us on a new path. He hasn’t. Maybe some future administration will."
Although Varon was speaking specifically to the continued indefinite detention of enemy combatants by U.S. forces, and the torture of Iraqi insurgents by Iraqi military forces, you can think about his words in the context of a host of other issues.
As we come up on the two year mark of his presidency, I wonder if there's a better summary of the way many Americans feel about Obama's unfulfilled promise.