It does not have the drama of the Inchon landing or the sweep of the Union comeback in the summer of 1864. But the turnabout of American fortunes in Iraq over the past several months is of equal moment -- a war seemingly lost, now winnable. The violence in Iraq has been dramatically reduced. Political allegiances have been radically reversed. The revival of ordinary life in many cities is palpable. Something important is happening.
And what is the reaction of the war critics? Nancy Pelosi stoutly maintains her state of denial, saying this about the war just two weeks ago: "This is not working. . . . We must reverse it." A euphemism for "abandon the field," which is what every Democratic presidential candidate is promising, with variations only in how precipitous to make the retreat.
I'm guessing that Army readiness is somewhere around twenty-five percent. The United States no longer has an army. How is this considered winning?
When you invade a territory against the wishes of the armed inhabitants, you will lose. This is basic stuff. No need to attend a war college to divine this truth.
It has been accounted that the cost of this misadventure is around two trillion dollars. I suspect that years from now, when all the figures have been added up, the final cost will be closer to ten trillion.
"We spent ten trillion dollars fixing things we broke while bumbling around looking for slickly marketed non-threats. And we destroyed the moral authority of the United States in the process, causing it to lose political authority and, thus, causing it to destroy itself. Strike up the band; we won!"
The economics of technology make it ever more possible for rice farmers and hut dwellers to lay an army low.
You walked in there. That you have risen to your knees after being flat on your backs is not a victory.
I love war. I love battle. I love the spirit of the contest. This Iraqi Misadventure was launched by those who know absolutely nothing about warfare.