Is it permissible to copy a post from another site and then copy my comments on that post? That’s sort of cheating, but here I go.
Darren Kaplan has a quickie today about the situation in Iraq:
Iraq End Game Approaches
It’s March 1, 2004. Let’s survey where we are in the Iraq “quagmire.” The Iraqi Governing Council has agreed on an interim constitution with a wide ranging bill of rights. The Iraqi Shi’a have dropped their insistence on direct elections. 44 of Iraq’s 55 most wanted have been captured or killed including, of course, Saddam Hussein. Iraqi oil output is near pre-war levels. Iraqi factories are reopening and jobs are starting to become available. A second Persian Gulf oil terminal has re-opened for the first time since 1991 and begun to load oil for export.
Most importantly, as Andrew Sullivan points out today, last month had the lowest number of Coalition fatalities since the beginning of the War.
By every possible standard, we’ve turned the corner in Iraq.
Yes, I realize that I’ve just shamelessly ripped off his entire post, including his title. Go see his for links to all the items on his list.
My comment is:
I think we’ve turned the corner also, Darren. Part of the reason I think this is that I see far less big media coverage of Iraq. When it comes to Republican issues on the networks, no news really IS good news.
However, I really do expect there to be a few hot spots yet. I would not be at all surprised if the seeming lull we’re in is just a gathering of strength before an anti-US “offensive” on the anniversary of the invasion later this month, and I also expect that things will heat up as the summer heats up and power outages continue to plague Iraqis.
Also, I truly expect an AQ offensive as the US elections get nearer, since they’d rather face Kerry’s police officers than Bush’s Marine battalions. Anything they can do to discredit the mission in Iraq, they’ll do, including blowing up lots of innocent Iraqis.
But we have turned a corner, as your list of achievements clearly points out.
I think that the capture of Saddam in December was the end of the ‘beginning’, not the beginning of the ‘end’. The ‘middle’ had been going on since Bush landed on that carrier in May, but a few loose strings had to be tied up before the ‘beginning’ was truly over. If this interim constitution does its job and the provisional government can keep plugging away, the ‘middle’ will end when a new permanent constitution and government take power. That will be the beginning of the ‘end’, and the ‘end’ will go on for years and years. Hopefully.
We are on the right track. Some things have taken longer than expected, and some things have been much much more difficult than expected, but we are still more or less on plan, I think.