November 6, 2007


War-Gaming the Campaign (Howard Kurtz, 11/06/07, Washington Post)

But what about the recent decline in U.S. military casualties and Iraqi civilian deaths? This may or may not turn out to be a long-term trend, especially with a gradual reduction in American forces to the pre-surge level. But it does seem that Iraq is fading a bit from the news, particularly on television, and that's in part because of a paucity of big suicide bombings that kill dozens of people (along with concerns among producers about Iraq fatigue).

The idea that the situation in Iraq is improving is getting some scattered notice (a lead story on "World News," a front-page Washington Post piece) but has yet to really take hold.

The war will be a big issue no matter what, given the circumstances under which President Bush took the country to war, the international fallout and the thousands of dead and wounded American soldiers. But could the impact be muddled if the trend toward reduced violence continues?

It was a badge of honor among Democrats at around this point in the Reagan Administration to have stood up for the Sandinistas and Gorbachev's USSR and against Evil Empire rhetoric, Star Wars, and the like. Just a few years later the same folks were bragging about how they'd stood side by side with the Gipper to win the Cold War. Does anyone doubt that Hillary's memoirs will feature her key role in winning the WoT?

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 6, 2007 10:35 AM

[...] Which raises all sorts of secondary but fascinating political questions: What do the Democrats do if--yes: if, if, if--the surge appears to have succeeded? (Or at least seems, to voters, to have succeeded: [...]

Posted by: Genecis at November 6, 2007 12:39 PM

What will TNR do if Beauchamp files a story entitled "Baghdad is Quiet Tonight"?

Or, "Mission Accomplished"?

Posted by: ratbert at November 6, 2007 10:29 PM

This is a case of live by the sword, die by it.

Lefties drummed up public discord over the war using US military deaths as the metric of success/failure, take away the deaths - by defintion we win.

To make matters worse, it is obvious adding more troops, i.e, the surge is what did it, somethinjg which they visciously opposed.

Posted by: Perry at November 7, 2007 11:45 AM