And that's precisely how it needed to be. Oh, don't worry: five, six years from now, all y'all can pretend that you were for the war all along and probably nobody will call you on it. I mean, watch how the AP handles the problem:
By ROBERT BURNS and ROBERT H. REID – 7 hours ago
BAGHDAD (AP) — The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost.
Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace — a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago.
Despite the occasional bursts of violence, Iraq has reached the point where the insurgents, who once controlled whole cities, no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of the central government.
That does not mean the war has ended or that U.S. troops have no role in Iraq. It means the combat phase finally is ending, years past the time when President Bush optimistically declared it had. The new phase focuses on training the Iraqi army and police, restraining the flow of illicit weaponry from Iran, supporting closer links between Baghdad and local governments, pushing the integration of former insurgents into legitimate government jobs and assisting in rebuilding the economy.
See how easy it is? You'd never know from that story that the folks over at the Associated Press were... ah, "attempting to give a nuanced and balanced look at a very chaotic and complex topic," or whatever phrases they were clinging to keep them from waking up at night screaming at what they had become. And if they can do it, well, so can you.Allahpundit - Allahpundit! - has a bit of the mini-roundup of optimism now flowering over all of this; like him, I suggest that you read Michael Totten's piece on the nature of the three wars we were fighting (although I think that Totten overstates the sectarian conflict when he calls it a 'civil war'). Also like him, I recommend that you review a certain speech made by Senator McCain. Particularly this bit:
If Senator Obama had prevailed, American forces would have had to retreat under fire. The Iraqi Army would have collapsed. Civilian casualties would have increased dramatically. Al Qaeda would have killed the Sunni sheikhs who had begun to cooperate with us, and the "Sunni Awakening" would have been strangled at birth. Al Qaeda fighters would have safe havens, from where they could train Iraqis and foreigners, and turn Iraq into a base for launching attacks on Americans elsewhere. Civil war, genocide and wider conflict would have been likely.
Above all, America would have been humiliated and weakened. Our military, strained by years of sacrifice, would have suffered a demoralizing defeat. Our enemies around the globe would have been emboldened. Terrorists would have seen our defeat as evidence America lacked the resolve to defeat them. As Iraq descended into chaos, other countries in the Middle East would have come to the aid of their favored factions, and the entire region might have erupted in war. Every American diplomat, American military commander, and American leader would have been forced to speak and act from a position of weakness.
Senator Obama told the American people what he thought you wanted to hear. I told you the truth.
I have been waiting to say this, formally, for the record, and with no ambiguities, for several years now: and I think that the day has finally arrived. Were you against this war? If so, that was your privilege. You were abjectly, totally, morally, ethically, and comprehensively wrong to be against this war - but that was your privilege. And, highly fortunately for those of you on the other side from me on this issue, you will not have to deal with the karmic consequences of your stance. You got the rarest thing in the universe, in other words: an ethical mulligan. Personally, I don't think that any of you people deserved it, but that's not my place to say.
But rest assured: if the war was Not In Your Name, then neither is the victory. You will not get to sneak back in and pretend that you favored this result from the start. You didn't. You will not get to pretend that you just didn't think that victory was possible. We bore witness to you too many times that it was. You will not be allowed to change the subject and look to the future. You have yet to fully address the abject folly of your past. In short: you are going to have to admit that you were wrong, and we were right, and that you should have known better all along.
Then there will be peace among us on the war. Until that happens, enjoy having your face ground into the dirt on this: it's nothing compared to what you had scheduled for the populace of Iraq.