Early this year, at the transfer-of-authority ceremony for the second-highest-ranking general in Iraq, responsible for all ground forces, only two Western reporters of the dozens in town decided it was worth the hours of waiting and security checks to cover the event, where the intensely private Lieutenant General Lloyd J. Austin III turned over his duties to the even more private Lieutenant General Charles Jacoby Jr. It was made clear to the American reporters who were there that they could expect even less accessibility from the new deputy commander. In fact, Jacoby’s first interview in Baghdad—three months after arriving there—was not with a journalist. It was with Stephen Colbert, during a taped appearance for The Colbert Report.
Some officials say the war is over. It isn’t. It is a different war and a much different story—one that Americans are being encouraged to forget.