There has been a sudden outburst of pessimism about Iraq from the conservative side, which took me rather by surprise. One item which seems to have set it off is an article in the NYTimes - I mean, really, now.
But Tigerhawk is depressed, both the Times of London and Mark Steyn tell us why it went wrong, which is echoed by The Belmont Club and CQ, who worry that things might be going wrong because of our failure of national will. Even Dr. Sanity shows some worry, though she does steel herself with renewed vigor by the end opf the post.
Well calm down here. Do things look very different than they did a month ago, or six months ago? Not much different. What has happened since then to get people so down in the mouth?
Time itself adds to the depression. We think "I had hoped it would be fixed by now." You think it, anyway. I expected that things would limp along miserably for some time longer. You pikers call yourself pessimists? Get out of here. I was expecting civil war in the first six months. I expect that when we solve the current problem of Baghdad - probably by sealing it off and beefing up the checkpoints as Omar suggests over at Iraq The Model (and don't read it unless you're going to read the update too) - some new problem will emerge. Expect our enemies to also adjust, unlike Imperial Storm Troopers in "Star Wars."
More importantly, people are disheartened because the Israeli-Hezbollah war looked like it was going to give a bit of resolution to the ME and it didn't. The reasoning seems to be that we hoped that Hezbollah would be completely eliminated, and because they weren't, Israel lost. And Iran is the big winner somehow. What Muslims perceive seems to be the big item here. Hezbollah can say they've won because there are some of them left - and what did you expect them to say? So we're worried that other Muslims will believe them, not that it's actually true. With Iran, even more so. They neither gain nor lose anything, but they get to say it's a victory, and many fools will believe them. Therefore they did win, because of PR. What?
So we've won, we win again and again, but because we never win hugely enough to make our enemies shut up we've lost.
You people have just got to be more cynical than that. It is going to look bad often, because we are fighting against people who lie like uh, rugs.
And I actually have some useful counters to the sudden pessimism, from Real Clear Politics and Victor Davis Hanson.