Iraq seems to be on track.....
I think history will be a lot kinder on George Bush...
America has won, or is about to win, the Iraq war.
The latest proof came last month, as the Iraqi army - just a few months ago the target of scorn and abuse from Democratic politicians and journalists - forcefully reoccupied three cities that had served as key insurgency bases (Basra, Sadr City and Mosul).
Sunnis and Shias alike applauded as their nation's army compelled insurgent militias to lay down their arms. The country's leading opposition newspaper, Azzaman, led the applause for the move into Mosul - a sign that national reconciliation in Iraq is under way and probably irreversible.
US combat deaths in May also were down to 20, the lowest monthly total since February 2004. The toll for May 2007 was 121.
In a Washington Post interview, CIA Director Michael Hayden said we're witnessing the "near strategic defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq."
The Bush administration has taken heaps of abuse for its Iraq policy, including its decision to launch the "surge" last December. Now the strategy, which our nation's "best and brightest" regularly dismissed as a failure, has cleared the way for the establishment of a secure democracy in Iraq and a lasting peace.
It would be foolish to pop open the victory champagne yet. The truce between the Shia and Sunni in Iraq remains fragile; al Qaeda may well launch one more last-ditch offensive there (a la Tet 1968), in order to discourage the US and/or Iraq publics on the eve of the elections.
Meanwhile, we're still fighting a vicious insurgency in Afghanistan, and have yet to root out the al Qaeda remnants of along the Afghan-Pakistan border. And the continued threat of home-grown terror cells keeps European governments nervous.
In wars, however, trends have their own momentum. And the trend is running away from al Qaeda and its jihadist allies - not only in Iraq but also across the Middle East.
According to Hayden, al Qaeda faces a similar strategic debacle in Saudi Arabia.
And al Qaeda's fugitive leadership is learning that its former safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border is no longer so safe. Thanks to cooperation with Pakistan's new government, unmanned US Predator drones recently killed two top al Qaeda leaders there.