The widespread conviction among Democrats that we are destined to fail in Iraq was the key to Barack Obama's emergence as Presidential front-runner. He postured himself as the candidate who had opposed the war from the beginning. But what helped Obama in the Democratic primaries may prove his undoing in the general election. Through the months when Obama's dedication to failure was bringing him closer to the nomination, conditions in Iraq were improving, not worsening. This contradiction is now becoming acute, and Obama faces it squarely as he tries to decide whether, how and when to go to Iraq.The cornerstone of Barack Obama's qualification for office has been his recognition--minus access to intelligence--that going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do. As Power Line and others note, Obama's position on the war served him well in the Democratic primary race. On the other hand, it has also been noted that Obama's position has been suspiciously political, coming to the fore as Obama vied for votes among a primarily anti-war black constituency and then moderating into agreement with the president's strategy later on.
The incongruity between Obama's position on the war and the reality of the situation in Iraq is growing, threatening to turn into a yawning abyss that will ultimately swallow Obama's credibility. Right now it looks likely that the administration's goals for the Iraq War will pan out, with Democratic defeatism the greatest threat to a positive outcome. With one day to go in the month of May, deaths among coalition forces and deaths among Iraqi civilians/Iraqi security forces both seem poised to end up at historic lows dating back to the very beginning of the war.
John McCain's strategy of inviting Obama to Iraq for a lookaround does seem intended to play up the latter's insulation from the facts on the ground.
The newest addition to the Jedi blogroll, American Power, treated the same subject (Obama and Iraq) and provided a Youtube video accompaniment that seems a perfect match.
See Obama. Hear Obama campaign on the surge. See Obama. See Obama on the surge. See Obama campaign contradict Obama on the surge.
The surge has done what Obama (the guy with the awesome judgment) said it would not do. It provided for a moderation of sectarian violence and a stepped-up pursuit of AQI safe havens that enabled the Iraqi government to begin to consolidate its role as a non-sectarian peacekeeping force.
That is success in Iraq.