We haven't heard much about Iraq lately. Probably because we won in 2008 and the story was no longer interesting. But it is nice to see some in the "news" media finally realize how very wrong their defeatist attitudes in 2006 and 2007 were.
Victory In IraqOf course the problem is that Zakaria never once mentioned President Bush and his vision which made that victory possible. Nope! Zakaria's piece was merely a setup to this conclusion:
By Fareed Zakaria
June 6, 2009
...When the surge was announced in January 2007, I was somewhat cautious about it. I believed that more troops and a proper counterinsurgency strategy would certainly improve the security situation—I had advocated more troops from the start of the occupation—but I believed that the fundamental problem in Iraq was political discord among the country's three main sects and ethnic groups. The surge, in my view, would alleviate those tensions but also postpone the need for a solution. Only a political agreement among these groups could reach one.
I was wrong in some ways. First, the surge turned out to be a more sophisticated strategy—encompassing political outreach to the Sunnis—than I had imagined. Second, the success of the surge empowered the Baghdad government, brought Sunni rebels out from hiding and thus broke the dynamic of the civil war. Sunni militants have now been identified, their biometric data have been collected and their groups are being monitored. They cannot easily go back to jihad. The Shiite ruling elites, secure in their hold on the country, have less to gain by ethnic cleansing and militia rule. An adviser to surge commander Gen. David Petraeus told the reporter Nir Rosen that the civil war in Iraq would end when the Sunnis knew that they'd lost and the Shiites knew that they'd won. Both now seem to be true.
There is much going on in Iraq that is admirable. Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis are beginning to work out their differences through negotiation, not violence. Freedom of speech abounds. A new economy is taking shape, in which entrepreneurs are creating jobs and a civil society. Elections are punishing thugs and theocrats who cannot deliver services and rewarding more-pragmatic forces. The appeal of radical Islam is waning.
This was not Barack Obama's war. But it might well turn out to be his greatest legacy to the Arab world. Ambassador Ryan Crocker ended his distinguished stint in Iraq with these fitting words: "In the end, how we leave and what we leave behind will be more important than how we came."By now we're used to Democrats forgetting that they were for regime change in Iraq before they were against it or claiming the threat of Iraq with weapons of mass destruction was an "imminent threat" only later to say "Bush lied" about WMD. But to suggest that they could claim credit for the victory seems to stretch credulity so far that only an Obamaton zombie would buy it.