Iraq – How will we know if we’ve won?

War opponents keep asking this question. One answer is that we will have won when we depose the Islamofascist governments of Syria and Iran, and perhaps some other countries, and Iraq is stable, and we no longer face a threat from Islamic radicalism and terror attacks because the Islamists are crushed and demoralized. But that’s perhaps too expansive and too vague an answer.

I was watching a TV news discussion on FOX tonight about positive recent developments in Iraq, and I realized that there’s an easy way to determine when we have won. We will know we have won when the leadership of the Democratic Party starts claiming credit for the war.

10 thoughts on “Iraq – How will we know if we’ve won?”

  1. I wrote a post a couple of years ago that we would know we won when Iraq simply disappeared from the media. Its getting there. It used to be the lead story every night, Now, it seldom is.

    I do think your right. “Victory has many fathers, defeat is an orphan.” You can see this quite clearly in the revisionist history of the Cold War wherein Leftist all suddenly claim they were in the fight the entire time. People like John Kerry, who handed the communist their greatest victory, now claim credit for defeating communism.

  2. A rather silly attempt by name calling to be witty or clever and it does not work. After all, it was your “conser ative” President Bush (yes: you are libertarian but voted for him) who declared Mission Accomplished. Try again. O

  3. Bush was talking about the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, at a time when neither our establishment nor its critics anticipated the magnitude of the coming anti-Coalition insurgency. Besides, the fact that I voted for Bush does not make me responsible for everything that he says.

    Anyway, you miss the point of the current post. It has nothing to do with name calling. It is merely an attempt to apply the theory of revealed preferences to political events. My theory is that a good sign of a policy’s success is that it becomes politically expedient to support that policy. Thus Democratic pols now claim to have been on the right side of our Cold War policy of containment, of welfare reform, etc. Similarly, while I don’t know what will happen with the current war, I predict that if we ultimately prevail Democratic pols will eventually claim to have supported Bush’s policy.

  4. David Still,

    Tell the truth, You’ve never actually read Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech have you? Instead, you’ve relied solely on the description of the speech given by Bush’s political opponents. Because of your laziness, you don’t know what he actually said and you actually think that repeating the phrase is a damning indictment of Bush.

    Its a wonder to me why, in this internet age of direct communication, that people still rely on others to explain to them what this or that major figure said. Every secondary source has prejudices. Relying exclusively on secondary sources means that one never, ever, really understands what the interpreted party actual said.

    General Sanchez recently gave a speech in which he spent two thirds of the his time castigating media coverage of Iraq and one third complaining about the entire spectrum of the political leadership of the war. Guess what part of the speech the major media reported and which part rightwing bloggers reported?

    Most politicians are weathervanes. When things got tough, some long time supporters of the war jumped ship, now that we have most likely turned the corner, those who earlier claimed they were tricked into supporting the war will discover they supported it all along. It’s history. It always happens. No exceptions.

    Jonathan’s made the point that we can use the weathervanes to judge the true level of success in Iraq. The fact that they scent political opportunity in creating the image that they supported the war means that the preponderance of information indicates we will succeed.

  5. We will know we have won the war on Iraq when we sail the Battleship Missouri up the river to Bagdad and accept unconditional surrender from AQI.

  6. Same way we know we won in vietnam- when they are integrated into the world economy in a meaningful way.

  7. The way I knew we never lost is that in spite of the fact Iraq appeared to be in near-total chaos in ’05 and ’06, Iraqis were still lining up at military and police recruitment centers. There was a reason the insurgents bombed the p*ss out of them. The day Iraqis quit signing up for the police and the military we’ll know we’ve lost Iraq.


  8. The war in Iraq was over long ago when the U.S. Army arrived to Baghdad.
    The war against terrorism is not over yet, but one thing is sure, the Americans got them on the run, and also exposed all over the Middle East as fanatics, cruel and spineless assassins who will stop at nothing, not even killing their own people to achieve their goals.
    In my opinion, public perception of the war in Iraq has changed over time and will continue to change in unexpected ways, while most people may have a negative perception today, that is only a perception and it could change tomorrow.
    I surely believe history will be far more generous with President Bush than the screaming and loud left we hear today.

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