More and more it looks as if we’ve won the war in Iraq, thereby giving the United States a crucial victory in the struggle against Islamic radicalism, and it is clear we wouldn’t have if the most important war protester in Denver this week had had his way.
That protester is not one of the street shouters waving a banner and thinking he has thereby made a profound, world-changing statement, but Barack Obama, who rode his opposition to the war to primary and caucus wins and finally to his moment of selection as the Democrats’ presidential nominee.
His position on the unpopular war was not the only thing leading to his triumphal hour at the Democratic National Convention, but the position undoubtedly was the sine qua non of his candidacy, and he did not stop with saying the war was wrong.
Early on, he proposed a U.S. troop withdrawal divorced from conditions on the ground, and he opposed the troop surge, saying at one point it wouldn’t work and insisting it would put more American lives in danger.
In fact, the surge in combination with new battleground tactics and other factors vastly reduced U.S. and Iraqi casualties and has helped get us to a remarkable point. Al Qaida in Iraq has been all but destroyed.
Aided by a population sickened of endless killings of Iraqis doing nothing but going about their daily lives, the Iraqi armed forces have grown in strength and have established order in increasingly large swathes of the country.
A confident Iraqi government has been negotiating with the United States about when we will go home. And we’ve already reduced the number of combat troops to pre-surge levels with more troop reductions planned for the fall.
Put Obama’s timetable in place and take away the surge he did not want, and we could now be facing a deteriorating situation with deep, dark tragedies lying in wait.
There are all the experts who think the war is an unmitigated disaster no matter how it turns out. But experts aren’t always to be trusted.
One of them is that we now have the upper hand in our confrontation with our terrorist enemies. A threat that could have consumed our energies and countless thousands of lives for much the rest of this century just might be abating because of decisions Obama would never have made and that John McCain would have.
Examiner columnist Jay Ambrose is a former Washington opinion writer and editor of two dailies. He can be reached at: Speaktojay@aol.com.