Me at OTB just now :
Oh? What claims then do you think you can honestly make about the success of the surge other than tactical?
Well, the number of provinces now being fully controlled by Iraqi forces leaps to mind. Certainly, unattainable pre-surge. Them taking ownership of the situation… wasn’t that one of the stated goals, even from a political standpoint?
In the main, the Surge has undeniably had effects, psychological, and well as practical, on both the enemy and the people of Iraq. Based on these, the victory is already in hand. What was needed for a political solutino was to secure the region against people who would given the chance prevent that political solution. That being done, there is a sense of momentum now, toward the goal on both parts where there was none previously.
And I suspect and suppose that the biggest problem that the Democrats have with all of this is that rather than the picture the Democrats were painting, of them heroically stopping a hopeless war, we have a picture of a Republican White House winning the war, despite their contunual roadblocks to victory… despite their actively seeking our defeat…and the Democrats trying to explain to angry voters why losing the war would have been better.