Monday, March 19, 2007

Where We Are

While public opinion has shifted immensely, and large numbers of Democrats in Congress are pushing for us to get out, the fact remains that the Very Serious People in Washington, as represented by Fred Hiatt, are still all for sending other people off to die to find the pony they know is there. The editorial the Post had out yesterday will be recycled for next year's anniversary, with little changed.

And on and on.

...A year ago, David Ignatius told us in the Post:

wouldn't pretend that these two snapshots are an accurate representation of the whole of Iraq. If that were so, the country wouldn't be in such a mess. But this is the way this war is supposed to be going. It's a few years late, but the new U.S. strategy is moving in the right direction.

and Donald Rumsfeld told us:

Some have described the situation in Iraq as a tightening noose, noting that "time is not on our side"and that "morale is down." Others have described a "very dangerous" turn of events and are "extremely concerned."

Who are they that have expressed these concerns? In fact, these are the exact words of terrorists discussing Iraq -- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his associates -- who are describing their own situation and must be watching with fear the progress that Iraq has made over the past three years.

The terrorists seem to recognize that they are losing in Iraq. I believe that history will show that to be the case.

Fortunately, history is not made up of daily headlines, blogs on Web sites or the latest sensational attack. History is a bigger picture, and it takes some time and perspective to measure accurately.

Jim Hoagland told us:

The quiet change was suggested in classified briefings for friendly diplomats and visiting foreign officials: U.S. troops will be moving out of Iraq's streets and then out of Iraq's cities by the end of this year as part of a coordinated drawing down and concentration of all foreign forces. Troops from Italy and other nations will leave the country, and a reduced British force will redeploy into a smaller area of operational responsibility.

This is part of a new internal exit strategy that President Bush hinted at in Monday's Iraq speech. U.S. forces will stay in Iraq beyond 2006 to fight al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists who are using Iraq as a platform for terrorism. Iraqi units -- operating with U.S. logistical assistance from remote locations and embedded command help -- are to be given primary responsibility for containing the domestic insurgency. This is what Bush calls Iraqis standing up to allow Americans to stand down.