Inheriting Victory in Iraq
11:22 AM, Jan 20, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
William McGurn writes in today's Journal:
As McGurn notes, both Obama and Biden opposed the surge on the grounds that it would only make the situation worse, and both subscribed to the view widely held among the press and the Democratic leadership that the war was lost -- that the only thing to do was to retreat, even at the cost of genocide in Iraq. We now know that Bush was right, the surge has succeeded, and even liberals like Peter Beinart are demanding that their fellow Democrats admit their mistake.
The result is that Obama has inherited victory in Iraq. Bush has done more than, as McGurn quotes Biden in early 2007, "keep it from totally collapsing...[until he could] hand it off to the next guy." Now rather than retreat in defeat, our new president must manage to withdraw American troops without undermining their success. It will be a tremendous challenge, but the press will not be able to blame Bush if security deteriorates in Iraq after Obama gives the Joint Chiefs their "new mission." The victory in Iraq is Obama's to lose.