November 13, 2007
JOE KLEIN: Are we winning in Iraq?
Yes. "We are winning" isn't the same as "we have won." But it's a cruel blow to those who've had a lot invested in the notion that we've lost, something that's even been noted on the left. If things continue to play out as they are, Iraq will be stable, and its people will remain deeply unhappy with Al Qaeda, and those -- in Iran and Saudi Arabia -- who have backed its violence and the effort to keep Iraq chaotic and deadly. It'll be for the next President to take proper advantage of that, if he or she is smart enough to.
And Klein is surely right in saying that "A renewed campaign on the part of the hapless Democratic leadership to cut off the supplemental funds will only increase the public sense of Democratic futility. It will also play into the very real, and growing, public perception that Democrats are too busy wasting time on symbolic measures (like trying to cut off funds for the war) and shoveling pork (the water projects bill) to pass anything substantive for the public good."
UPDATE: Greyhawk on what it all means, at The Mudville Gazette.
ANOTHER UPDATE: More here: "No one is declaring victory, but cautious optimists on the U.S.-led war in Iraq suddenly find themselves armed with a growing number of indicators that the fighting has taken a new, more hopeful turn." Iraqi internal politics are looking better, too, though that's less quantifiable.