But we noticed something fascinating when reading those articles: In story after story, U.S. reporters were quick to seek comment from White House officials and to "balance" those comments with quotes from congressional Democrats and from analysts at various D.C. think tanks who are critical of the administration. They talked to foreign policy and military experts, historians and even Korea experts.

But here's the rub: None of the reporters we read bothered to pick up a phone and call Baghdad to get reactions from, well, actual Iraqis.

Makes an excellent point, nobody asked the Iraqis if they think long term occupation is a good idea. And everything I have seen says they don't like the idea. And yet everybody casually accepts that what the Iraqis think doesn't matter.