(En route to) KABUL -- Other than spending lots of time covering soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen, Marines and special operators who routinely get shot at, I'm not a gambling man. Those I know who frequent the casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City all claim they go to these places to "win" and are willing to settle for a break-even "draw." None of them professes to be satisfied with a loss. Unfortunately, when it comes to gambling in the life-or-death contest against radical Islamists, all three outcomes appear to be equally acceptable to the Obama administration. For the O-Team, just playing "the game" seems to be enough.
Win: Last week's national parliamentary election in Iraq -- with turnout more than 60 percent -- was a clear-cut success. Even Newsweek put on its cover "Victory at Last: The Emergence of a Democratic Iraq." This is the same magazine that published a fictional account in 2005 of a Quran's being flushed down a toilet in Guantanamo -- a story that led to riots throughout the Muslim world and the deaths of hundreds. Though the writers cast the election as "America's dark victory," they could not deny what it means for the Land Between the Rivers and the entirety of the Middle East.
On Sunday, in his remarks on the election, the president appropriately recognized "the growing capability and professionalism of Iraqi security forces, which took the lead in providing protection at the polls." To his credit, Mr. Obama proffered his "admiration for the thousands of Americans on the ground in Iraq -- for our civilians and our men and women in uniform who continue to support our Iraqi partners. This election is also a tribute to all who have served and sacrificed in Iraq over the last seven years, including many who have given their lives."
Regrettably, he just couldn't bring himself to credit his predecessor's political courage for proceeding with the "surge" advocated by Gen. David Petraeus back in 2006. Had George W. Bush failed to do so, it is very unlikely last Sunday's elections would have taken place at all, much less succeeded.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.