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Be a real help if you could step to one side…

Tomorrow, Tuesday, President Obama will formally announce what we have known for months was coming – that America is bowing out of the war with Iraq.

Naturally it will be claimed, as Nixon did with Vietnam, that the USA won and are now leaving.  But even Obama cannot spin this as the kind of win that you and I might recognise as “victory”.

“Granted” he said recently “this is not the definitive World War II – like victory most of us expected”  Yes, that’s certainly how I see it too.  “But” he continued “there’s a military triumph in there somewhere, I swear.  You just have to look at it from the right angle”

According to the President then, this relative victory could be based on a number of benchmarks, depending how strict you are going to be on that definition of “victory”.  Obama has pointed to, and undoubtedly will again tomorrow, the democratic election of Iraq’s parliament – which is currently hanging by a thread.  The streets of Iraq too are slightly less murderous than they were way back in 2006.  He may even point priggishly to the fact that women can, more or less, move about the country in daylight.  Provided of course they don’t draw attention to themselves.

Which boils down to – a handful of Iraqi hearts and minds have been won over and the Prime Minister hasn’t been shot. 

Yet.

On ABC’s “This Week” General Ray Odserno commanding US forces said  “And trying your best, one might argue is basically a triumph in and of itself” 

What! trying is a good thing and we should do our best?  Is this a Girl Guide company he is running or an army?  Trying one’s best indeed.  Dear God.

But he went one better, “And hey, Saddam Hussain isn’t in power anymore” he continued “so that’s something”.

It is.  It shows us that the Western Way of War is failing.

Copyright David Macadam 2010

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