Winning the War
Back when the Iraq War was still young and fresh, I observed that, "Modern wars don't seem to end until one side is well and truly beaten." As in, flattened beyond all recognition. (FLABAR, we'll call it.) I also noted that when it came to Iraq, "We didn't burn a whole lot, and some crazies just don't know when to cry uncle." As in, there was no telling when the war would be won.
Now comes Ralph Peters, who has been no friend to President Bush the last few years, talking about the five reasons things are looking up in Iraq. His last item reads:
The Iraqis are sick of bloodshed and destruction: This is the least-recognized factor - but it's critical. We still don't fully understand the mechanics of black-to-white mood shifts in populations, but such transitions determine strategic outcomes...
The peace-through-exhaustion mood swing happened abruptly in Iraq. Suddenly, the people have had their fill of gunmen and gangsters who claim to be their defenders. Heads-down passivity has morphed into active resistance to the terrorists and militias.
You can thank Al Qaeda-Iraq for doing what we wouldn't--couldn't--do in 2003, and credit VodkaPundit for calling it mostly right, four years ago, almost to the day.