Blackfive is beginning to scent panic on Iraq, citing a long authoritative post at Daily Kos explaining that recent security improvements in Iraq, presumably including events in Anbar, stem from the circumstance that Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his milita to cease offensive operations for six months. I disagree with the "Gift From Sadr" theory, and readers may want to read my Pajamas Media piece to see why.
Doctrines in distress must be progressively modified to maintain their credibility. The classic example was the Ptolemaic theory that sun revolved around the earth. After the evidence began to go against it, the theory was modified by the addition of epicycles, a type of complex celestial movement, to make observations fit the theory. The complex ballet included deferents, equants, prograde and retrograde motions, an entire scaffolding of evolutions to prop up a theory in trouble. Some cling to geocentric idea to this day.
Historical debates go on for a long time. Anyone who remembers the ups and downs of its history should realize that the campaign in Iraq isn't over till it's over. The near hysteria Blackfive detects in reaction to the possibility of an American victory in Iraq reflects both the torment of suspense and a loss in confidence. Still, nobody psychologically invested in the orthodoxy of defeat should jump in despondency off a bridge -- yet. And even if such a victory should be forthcoming the narrative of defeat can always be salvaged from it through the modern day equivalent of epicycles; some alternative explanation giving credit to the enemy, be he ever so wretched as Moqtada al-Sadr.
But disappointment should never go so far as to obscure what it was all about. The War in Iraq was in part about domestic political upmanship, it's true. But except to meanest and most partisan of minds it must ultimately have been about the future of Iraq, the security of America and the soul of Islam. And however we arrived at this point that future, that security and the prospects for that soul seem better off today than had al-Qaeda or Sadr won, though I know some will debate the point. But the broad minded man of the Left shouldn't care who "won" for so long as it works out well, as it is looking to do. It is sometimes good to be wrong about your worst fears coming true; to be luckier than you thought.
One of the most comical true stories I ever heard was about a man who spent a lot of money getting a thorough medical checkup only to be disappointed the doctor found nothing wrong with him. He felt cheated somehow, that he hadn't received value for money. Had he stopped to consider he might have realized how lucky he was to be disappointed. If Iraq turns out well so be it. That would be justification in itself to anyone of good will.