IRAQ AND NORTH KOREA….Josh Marshall summarizes the latest on North Korea here. Bottom line: it looked like maybe things were looking up, but now it looks like maybe they aren’t. And the LA Times quotes Han Sung Jung, a South Korean diplomat, warning everyone that negotiations with North Korea are “not going to be a cakewalk.” After Iraq, I think he’s probably wise to put the whole cakewalk thing to rest right out of the gate.

And Josh also makes a good point about the supposed joy of Iraqis at being liberated by U.S. forces:

Last week I went to a lunch meeting in DC on the same day that the statue of Saddam came crashing to the ground.

At the lunch a well-known conservative columnist introduced one of speakers, a well-known liberal columnist, on what he called “the day his worldview was collapsing.” By that measure I assume that today’s news that, as The Washington Post puts it, “Tens of thousands of Iraqi Muslims took to the streets of Baghdad after Friday prayers … to demand the departure of U.S. and other foreign troops and the establishment of an Islamic state” should cause at least some creaking in the conservative columnist’s worldview as well, no?

I think both liberals and conservatives should be very careful about drawing conclusions based on statue topplings and a few children handing flowers to soldiers on the one hand, or museum lootings and anti-U.S. demonstrations on the other. This is a very long term project we’re involved in, and the ups and downs of daily events really don’t mean much. It will be months, maybe years, before we know what the real reaction of ordinary Iraqis is to our invasion. I suspect that in the long run it’s going to be more negative than positive, but at any rate ? and to coin a phrase ? it’s sure not going to be a cakewalk.