Yes, says Sen. Clinton, the surge is "working," but according to her it is coming "too late" and so it's time to bring the troops home. If one suffers from terminal cancer and a last-ditch effort is made with experimental drugs to save the patient's life, would a responsible physician give up and declare the situation hopeless, even as the drugs show progress fighting the disease?
All of Iraq's political leaders are not on vacation. The Bush administration says Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other members of the elected government are negotiating a political settlement that would be acceptable to all sides. In his weekly radio address last Saturday, President Bush predicted political progress at the local level that will help end the national stalemate. I know, he once said, "mission accomplished" when it wasn't. But the window for measuring accomplishment this time is a lot narrower.
Democrats at last appear to have a war strategy. It is to snatch victory from the jaws of victory, even after claiming lack of progress and forecasting defeat for at least the last three years. Before the Internet, talk radio, cable TV and the bloggers, they might have been able to get away with it, but Democrats have painted themselves into a corner from which they cannot escape. If Bush administration policies produce a political settlement and a sustained decline in violence, Democrats won't be able to claim they favored victory all along. If violence increases and there is no political settlement, Democrats will be left to win the war and the peace on their own, should they win the White House and maintain their congressional majority.
Embracing victory, however reluctantly, is a risky gamble for their party, but what other choice do they have?