Operation Iraqi Freedom - biggest FUBAR in American History. A horrible blunder. Great Satan lost her way amoung the 'community of nations' blah blah blah.
Thankfully, cooler heads (in more way than one!) are clawing those failed faux school inaccurracies out of the sky faster than RAF did with Luftwaffe over the fields of Kent way back in 1940.
Foreign Affairs rounded up three super smart brainiancs including Ken Pollack (Oh! He got game!), Stevie Biddle (future military fan) and Mike O'Hanlon (who sports a bit of game himself).
Pollock and O'Hanlon shocked the world a year go when they declared that Surge totally rocks.
A year later they pretty much point out that worrying about eternal quagmires in Iraq, troop drawdowns or inappropriate handwringing is really quite retarded. And sooo last year.
"The three main culprits in the ethno-sectarian violence of 2006 have stood down and agreed to cease-fires or been crippled by military defeat. Sunni insurgents overwhelmingly switched sides over the course of 2007, signing on to cease-fires with the Iraqi state mostly through the Sons of Iraq program, which now includes over 100,000 participants, who provide local security in exchange for legitimacy and financial support.
The Shiite militias, especially Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army (also know as Jaish al-Mahdi, or JAM), have seen their position undermined by a combination of Sunni realignment, U.S. and Iraqi military pressure, the increasing independence of splinter and rogue groups, and a backlash against their own parasitic exploitation of the civilians they were ostensibly defending.
And the most violent actors -- Iraq's extreme chauvinist Sunni groups and AQI -- have been driven from most of western and central Iraq and are losing their remaining urban havens in the provinces of Diyala, Nineveh, and Salah ad Din thanks to a series of offensives by U.S. and Iraqi forces. "
Was Operation Iraqi Freedom worth the time, treasure and precious blood shed by America's voltigeurs?
Iraq was brilliant. Knocking out the largest Arab amy in history in 20 days - no less. On a WMD guess provided cold rolled steel bona fides that Great Satan is crazy and unpredictable after 911 and sent a very cool message to intolerant, militias, illegitimate, murderous, courpt regimes that she is down right scary and lethal.
Brett Stephens at WSJ points out
"Here's a partial list: Saddam is dead. Had he remained in power, we would likely still believe he had WMD. He would have been sitting on an oil bonanza priced at $140 a barrel. He would almost certainly have broken free from an already crumbling sanctions regime.
The U.S. would be faced with not one, but two, major adversaries in the
Persian Gulf. Iraqis would be living under a regime that, in an average year, was at least as murderous as the sectarian violence that followed its collapse.
And the U.S. would have seemed powerless to shape events.
Instead, we now have a government that does not threaten its neighbors, does not sponsor terrorism, and is unlikely to again seek WMD. We have a democratic government, a first for the Arab world, and one that is increasingly capable of defending its people and asserting its interests
We have a defeat for al Qaeda. Critics carp that had there been no
invasion, there never would have been al Qaeda in Iraq. Maybe. As it is,
thousands of jihadists are dead, al Qaeda has been defeated on its self-declared "central battlefield," and the movement is largely discredited on the Arab street and even within Mohammedist circles.
We also have -- if still only prospectively -- an Arab bulwark against
Iran's encroachments in the region. But that depends on whether we simply withdraw from Iraq, or join it in a lasting security partnership.
None of these are achievements to sneer at, all the more so because they
were won through so much sacrifice."
All true. Plus, Iraq and Operation Iraqi Freedom demonstrated that Great Satan will go anywhere and do anything to protect and/or project democracy.
America's staying power and fire power also sent a wonderful message to friends, frienemies and enemies alike that Great Satan has got the will power too - Surging extra Regime Changers into Iraq while popularity polls reflected Americans were tired of Iraq and all things ME
Biddle O'Hanlon and Pollack conclude that
If the United States can maintain a substantial force in Iraq through the
critical period of the next two to three years, there is now a credible basis
for believing that major drawdowns after that can be enabled by success rather
than mandated by failure.
Which ties into their intro
The Iraq war has become one of the most polarizing issues in American politics.
Most Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.), want large, early troop
cuts; most Republicans, including Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), want U.S.
troops to stay until Iraq's stability is guaranteed.
Years of bad news from the front have hardened these divisions along
partisan lines and embittered many on both sides.
Today, however, there is reason to believe that the debate over Iraq can
True. Super Change.