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A Time For Gloating, and a Time to Refrain From Gloating

August 6, 2007

What a difference a few weeks makes. I’m not sure it qualifies as a stunning reversal as of yet, but if the O’Hanlon/Pollack Op-Ed in the NYT is any indication, it’s entirely possible that the low point of public support for the war has been passed, and the tide is beginning to turn for the better. For now at least, the news is good and, for that I’ll be glad. But it’s not time to gloat. Yet. In the same way I do not take bad news to mean the situation is always and forever negative, neither do I assume good news is here to stay. As usual, Wretchard said it best:

The US campaign in Iraq is probably one of the most complex campaigns in military history. It is an event fundamentally unsuited to facile political characterization. And I am afraid that, if General Petraeus’ efforts meet with some success, what was officially a “bad” war — after first having been a “good war” — will become a “good war” again, as politicians anxiously reposition themselves according to the latest polls. Iraq will become, whatever it is, exactly what the politicians want it to be. And that’s bad. Because the one thing that Gen Petraeus is doing right — if he is doing anything right at all — is adapting…

While Democrat support for creating political reform in the Muslim world, starting with Iraq would be welcome, however reluctant, it would be still more welcome if it were based on a sound assessment of the situation rather than politics.

It’s a start though, and I’m happy to take it. (More Wretchard analysis on the NYT piece here.)

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