Shorter David Brooks

It's a good thing Bush went against everyone's advice and doubled down on the surge last year, because Iraq is a whole block of awesome now, and don't the war opponents look dumb?
No, I'm not kidding you.

It shouldn't be a surprise--Brooks has been depending on this interpretation of events, since it's about the only thing that makes it possible for McCain to win more than ten states in November. He's still betting a losing hand though. Iraq is hugely unpopular right now, just as it has been for years, and while gas prices and the mortgage crisis have shoved it a little farther back in the public consciousness for the moment, the idea that we'll have US troops there for the foreseeable future is not a popular one.
"From what you know about the U.S. involvement in Iraq, how much longer would you be willing to have large numbers of U.S. troops remain in Iraq: less than a year, one to two years, two to five years, five to ten years, or as long as it takes?"
%

Less than a year 42

One to two years 21

Two to five years 9

Five to ten years 1

As long as it takes 20

Should leave now (vol.)3

Unsure 4
And those are the numbers even with major networks scaling back their Iraq War coverage to ridiculous levels.
According to data compiled by Andrew Tyndall, a television consultant who monitors the three network evening newscasts, coverage of Iraq has been “massively scaled back this year.” Almost halfway into 2008, the three newscasts have shown 181 weekday minutes of Iraq coverage, compared with 1,157 minutes for all of 2007. The “CBS Evening News” has devoted the fewest minutes to Iraq, 51, versus 55 minutes on ABC’s “World News” and 74 minutes on “NBC Nightly News.” (The average evening newscast is 22 minutes long.)
The question isn't whether or not Iraq is getting better--the question is whether or not we know it at all. After all, it's not like this government has a history of giving us honest numbers when it comes to local casualties or violence levels. Iraq might as well be a planet in the Mutara Nebula for all the information newscasts give us on it.

But even if Brooks is right--he isn't, but what the hell--that doesn't mean that people who opposed the surge, hell, who opposed the war from the beginning somehow now have egg on their faces. And it sure as hell doesn't vindicate King George the Lesser. We never should have been in this position in the first place. We have destroyed a country, and just because some parts of it might be exploding a little less now than they were a year ago is no cause for rejoicing.

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