Given Iraq's progress these last years, it's hard to find anyone who still argues -- as the current troika now directing U.S. foreign policy, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, once did -- that President Bush's 2007 troop surge was a mistake.
To a then-Sen. Clinton, the surge's purported success required a "suspension of disbelief." But, as we now know, the surge saved Iraq and provided a blueprint of sorts for operations in Afghanistan.
Finally, there was the assertion that anti-war protests were all genuinely based on opposition to the American presence in Iraq rather than fueled, in large part, by partisan politics. But since January 2009, when Obama was sworn into office, there have been almost no anti-war demonstrations against the still-sizable American presence there. Popular demonstrations in the U.S. now oppose excessive government, not the war.
And Hollywood has ceased making its usual, unpopular anti-war movies like "In the Valley of Elah," "Redacted," "The Kingdom," "Rendition," "Lions for Lambs" and "Home of the Brave."
Many on the left no longer oppose the Bush-Petraeus plan of slow, graduated withdrawal from Iraq, as this strategy is now sanctioned by President Obama. In the words of Vice President Biden, Iraq may well become one of the Obama administration's "greatest achievements."
It's true that many original supporters of the three-week removal of Saddam Hussein underestimated the ordeal of establishing a constitutional state in his absence. But it's also evident that many who damned the war did so mainly to embarrass then-President George Bush.
We see all of this mostly in hindsight. Dire assertions about Iraq did not come to pass. Anti-war passion cooled once war-critic Barack Obama was no longer a presidential candidate but became president -- and commander-in-chief. And, most importantly, a successful democracy finally did arise after the fall of Saddam.