Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 307 points. Sure, the recent uptick had to level off at some point, but this dramatic drop, I think, is based on largely unwarranted concerns over the war.
In the first few days of the war we constantly heard of how immaculately our forces were performing. In a brilliant display of executive decisiveness and flexibility, President Bush, based on extraordinary intelligence data, authorized a strike against the bunker in which they believe Saddam Hussein and his two sons were sleeping at dawn Thursday.
Incredibly, despite all the hype leading up to it, the attack achieved the element of surprise. No one, including the Iraqis, thought we would launch our first strike at the onset of daylight.
From there, the good news just kept getting better. Further intelligence led us to believe that we either killed or severely injured Saddam and his sons, thereby critically damaging, if not severing, the head of the Iraqi regime in the very first strike of the war. We were assured Iraqi troops were surrendering so fast that allied forces didn't have time to process them all. Ex-military TV commentators were delighted with the simultaneous military attack against remaining terrorists in Afghanistan. They were gushing over the Pentagon's decision to begin the ground war right off the bat. They were blown away by the deftness with which our troops were negotiating the difficult desert terrain in their unprecedented lightning advance toward Baghdad. They were crowing about our military's foresight in dispatching Navy Seals and other special forces to secure the oil fields to prevent a repeat of Saddam's Gulf War I scorched-earth torching of oil fields. Things couldn't have appeared much brighter for allied forces in those first few days.
Then, reality set in. Events unfolded that sobered us into the realization that this wasn't the video game some had apparently allowed themselves to believe it was and that instead of rolling over, many Iraqis were fighting back -- and fiercely, within their comparatively limited capabilities.