I see that Glenn Reynolds and assorted hangers-on are all atwitter because Michael Yon said something or other. The headline that launched a thousand premature ejaculations of triumphalism:
“THE WAR IS OVER AND WE WON”
The follow up is at least somewhat more caveated:
Michael Yon just phoned from Baghdad, and reports that things are much better than he had expected, and he had expected things to be good…There’s a little bit of violence here and there, but nothing that’s a threat to the general situation.
Those insolent pockets of violence still have the nettlesome habit of raining 300-400 Iraqi corpses, and 10-30 flag draped coffins, per month, on the eternally recurring victory parades marching through wingnuttia. Nevertheless, we are assured now of a victory that already resides in the past – as in, has been achieved.
Reynolds’ lucky linkees chime in:
Surprised? I’m not…I’ve been saying “we won” for some time now, so no argument on that point from me.
No thanks to the Democrats, including Barack Obama and Joe Biden, who tried to keep it from happening. I see that they still can’t bring themselves to utter the word ‘win’ with respect to the war. They continue to talk about ‘ending’ it. Well, it looks like George Bush did that for them, and he won it as well.”
Well, I’d feel more inclined (were it not for the aforementioned dampener of Iraqi and US corpses continuing to turn up all dead-like) to utter the word “win” if someone would define what exactly winning entails, as opposed to, say, losing.
What did we win? What were the goals achieved? Ridding Saddam of the WMD he didn’t have? Kicking al-Qaeda out of a country where they weren’t in until after we invaded? Weakening Iran? Inducing a chain reaction of democratic dominos that would spread throughout the region smothering terrorism under the weight of each block’s collapse? Facilitating the peace process? Lowering oil prices?
The one and undeniable accomplishment would be that Saddam and his sons are out of power. Good. He will not be missed or mourned.
Yet, it takes a special kind of skill in the art of goalpost maneuvering to declare victory based on this one achievement after hundreds of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives (and millions more psychologically and physically scarred), 4-5 million Iraqis are displaced internally and abroad, roughly 5,000 coalition soldiers and contractors dead, trillions of dollars sapped from the US economy, countless opportunity and diplomatic costs, degradation of our military’s fighting capacity, etc.
And even now, victory has been declared based on the fact that fighting has died down (but not completely by any stretch), and an increasingly authoritarian and Iranian leaning Iraqi government is exerting its prerogatives in terms of consolidating control and expediting our exit from the country.
Regardless, the cheerleaders clutching to threadbare and bloodspattered pom poms, scream into their megaphones “Bush won”!
But if Bush won, he was not alone. Iran is also entitled to an end-zone celebration of their choosing (Najaf Leap?). On the other side of the ledger, the Iraqis and American citizens mostly lost.
So it depends on how you define “we” and “won.” But other than that, yeah.
(via Glenn’s better)