The outlook is not good:
Hersh did not hold out much hope for improved relations between the US and the Muslim world. "The only good news I can bring you is that tomorrow morning there will be one less day of the Bush presidency," he told an overflow crowd in a public lecture at UC Irvine. Bush "doesn't care about" his low standing in the polls, and as a result "he's going to keep going until 11:59 a.m. on January 20, 2009."
Even after Bush's term ends, "much of the damage is yet to come," Hersh said. "The problems for the next president may be intractable."
"They say the surge has worked," Hersh said. "But do you think someday we will get an oil deal in Iraq? They'll burn the fields first. We're hated in Iraq."
As for Afghanistan, "we became more of a threat to the people than Taliban," Hersh said. We're "losing the war there," he said, and concluded that "Afghanistan is a doomed society."