Somewhat embarrassingly for the president’s enemies, the tide has quietly turned in Iraq, and that nation looks set to be a new Turkey, providing the world’s second example of a free Muslim nation.
First a homily. The difficulty of this war makes it normal, not unique.
With the exception of the Gulf War and Israel’s 6 Day War, every conflict in the last 100 years has been a brutal slugging match, with the path to victory interrupted by terrible defeats and confounded by massive incompetence.
Just one example: the WW2 strategic bombing offensive that created the world’s first pacifist Germans was a disaster until 1943, due to poor American and Brit equipment and tactics. But “poor” is a hindsight judgment – our fathers and grandfathers did the best they could at the time, and learned through terrible experience – 56,000 aircrew died, out of Bomber Command’s total of 125,000.
In contrast, the Iraq War has been small scale, and none of our cities has burned since 9/11.
So here’s what’s changed in Iraq;
- Oil has been discovered in the Sunni region, giving that group something to live for.
- The Kurds, Shias and Sunnis have agreed to share Iraq’s oil revenue, providing an economic base for Iraq as a nation state.
- Al Qaeda has resorted to a policy of destabilization at any costs, using suicide bombers from Syria to mass murder Sunni and Shia Iraqis
- In consequence, the Sunni and Shia militias have commenced killing Al Qaeda.
- The Iraqi army has become an effective fighting force.
- General Petraeus is providing uninspired leadership to the US military, which is now playing a sophisticated part in this non-zero sum game.
- And the Brit Army – in spite of terrible equipment – has held the Iranians in the South.
There are probably plenty of tragedies to come, but the path seems set – just as it was in June 1944.
All communities now have a stake in a peaceful settlement, and the Iraqi state has a basis for existence and a military to defend it.
So, looking forward, expect Al Qaeda to be ground down and the level of random violence to fall. And following on from that, the region around Baghdad to stabilize and the US to progressively transfer security to the Iraqi Army.
That still leaves the Southern front struggling under the flow of Iranian EFPs and Revolutionary Guards. But the (one) nice thing about warfare is that stabilizing one front allows you to redouble your energies on the others. So we should see the Mullahs out of Iraq within 12 months.
Then the Euros, Dems, and RINOS are going to be as sick as the proverbial parrots.