And then there's the phrase "catastrophic circumstances in Iraq." The [San Francisco] Chronicle takes it as a given that the situation in Iraq warrants that particular adjective rather than one a bit less--well, less catastrophic. I'd hate to have seen how the current-day writers and editors of a paper such as the Chronicle would have dealt with the early years of World War II, or the Civil War, or any number of other conflicts. Fortunately, they weren't around then.
Lordy, is there some chance you're talking about the Deep South press? Because the Northern papers (and the Border States') were all over the map, advocating anything from Total War to letting the South secede, so much so that Lincoln shut down 300 of them for opposition to the war. Is that the sort of dealing you had it mind?
WWII, of course, is the great exception to the rule of contentious debate and opposition to military involvement which was somehow erased in its wake, but that exception is only general and sometimes overstated. The American public believed in that War (still does), believed (somewhat erroneously) that we had been the victims of a sneak attack; yet the finger-pointing and blame apportionment after Pearl went on for months, and in public. FDR himself ordered that the military news not be sugarcoated. You might want to check out the work of Ernie Pyle or Bill Mauldin.
As for today, we might remind you that the start of our little Iraq adventure was met with an across-the-board spasm of rah-rah that would have made Hearst blush, despite the fact that much, if not most, of the population was at minimum somewhat opposed to the timing of the war, despite having been bilked by Judy Miller's Three Column Monte routine. Or that had we had a clear and honest debate before the war, assuming such a thing is possible, you and your President wouldn't be trying to get out of that hole by digging up.