The long article in today's Washington Post about the hapless Iraqi military starts off with a bang: Iraqi soldiers gather before dawn to sing a mournful ballad in praise of Saddam Hussein ("We had hoped to spend our life with you"). These, remember, are the guys who are going to finish the job of Freeing Iraq From Saddam's Tyranny.
After that, the Post's reporters, Anthony Shadid and Steve Fainaru, present ample evidence that the Iraqi military is held in contempt by Americans (U.S. soldiers sleep in air conditioning, Iraqi soldiers don't; U.S. soldiers get armored Humvees, Iraqis get open Humvees) -- and, on the other hand, that the Iraqis' hearts don't seem to be in it (my favorite anecdote depicts soldiers fleeing an ambush and hopping in a taxi).
It occurs to me that, under different circumstances, the right would have an explanation for the Iraqi soldiers' apparent lack of valor: They'd say it's because the soldiers have lived (under Saddam and to a great extent since) in "the ultimate welfare state," subsisting on government-supplied food and other services.
But, alas for them, right-wingers can't say that -- right-wingers aren't allowed to say that the new Iraqi military can possibly fail (at least not so long as the valiant President Bush and a Republican Congress control foreign policy). A commentator on the right who criticized Iraqi soldiers would be like Galileo saying the earth revolves around the sun -- and the demand for recantation of the heresy would be somewhat similar.