Uh oh. That, I suspect, may be the reaction of some Democrats these days when they read the front pages of the major newspapers. What if the Iraq war is not the zinger the Democrats thought it would be? As Abe and others have pointed out, nothing is going very well from their perspective, precisely because so much is going well in Iraq. The mainstream media have noticed that not only does Barack Obama not want to see the progress for himself ( how oddly closed-minded, they observe), but that John McCain leads on the “best able to handle Iraq” poll question. Then, the other big Democratic rhetorical club–“We have rendered ourselves less able to fight Al Qaeda”–appears to be, well, poppycock. Al Qaeda is not yet defeated, but it is seriously wounded. (And hey, Nancy Pelosi–it wasn’t Iran’s doing.)
So if Obama won’t go to Iraq, maybe he could read up and see for himself that, whatever the merits of the decision to go to war, the decisions made since then (which he also opposed) and the track record in inflicting grave injury on Al Qaeda (which he has denied) have worked out better than expected. Better than the Democrats expected, that is.
That is why, I suspect, Obama’s camp–with a major assist from the mainstream media just frothing at the prospect of showing that somehow McCain is less informed and knowledgeable about Iraq than Obama–manufactures the “drawn down/have dawn down/will draw down” mini-controversy. Anything, anything to get the voters’ minds off the fact that Obama simply got the surge and the withdrawal strategy wrong.