I agree. I dont think the whole war has gone wrong and I don't think Perle, Adleman and others are saying it has. I think they're saying that there have been some wrong decisions made and that they've had a big effect on things.
Things like ignoring the Mahdi Army and letting it grow and flourish instead of clamping down at the beginning, not doing anything while Iran and Syria wreak havoc, letting this Saddam trial and all these other top leaders go on for years, Abu Ghraib, and plenty of other decisions made after April 2003 have negatively affected where we are today and that's a fact. Mentioning those isn't defeatist or liberal.
I agree with you about the media. They're despicable.
In every war wrong decisions are made and it doesn't always mean the people in charge are incompetent. War is just unpredictable and complex and no one can fully 'organize' a war to run smoothly.
I'm not saying that I fully agree with these people, but if the media gave fair and balanced reports on the war, then people could look at these 'mistakes' objectively and treat them as items for educational debate. Because the American people are not getting a fair and balanced view, these 'mistakes' are used as partisan political fodder and it just hurts our whole country.