Hurry Up and Quit

The Times of London reports: “Dozens of low-level members of al-Qaeda in Iraq are daring to become informants for the US military in a hostile Baghdad neighbourhood. The ground-breaking move in Doura is part of a wider trend that has started in other al-Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.”

The Times goes on to report that the surge seems to be working in this part of Baghdad. “The increased presence of US forces in Doura, however, is encouraging insiders to overcome their fear and divulge what they know. Convoys of US soldiers are working the rubble-strewn streets day and night, knocking on doors, speaking to locals and following up leads on possible insurgent hideouts.”

So: If the surge seems to working, why do the Democrats want to stop it? 

We have a race to see who can lose first. On the one hand we have the Democrats, who want to pull out our troops immediately, thereby ensuring that we lose. And we have al Qaeda, whose own tactics are losing them support in Iraq amongst tribal leaders and the people on the street.

Democrats, with an eye towards the next elections, want to get credit for ending the war. They believe that the American people don’t care if we win or lose, only that we get our troops out.

In fact, leading Democrats are so confident in their position in the polls that they are talking about either impeaching or censuring President Bush.

But I don’t know if the American people would be happy to see us lose in Iraq. And I certainly don’t believe that most Americans would like it if the Democrats moved articles of impeachment or censure against the president or the vice president.

The Democrats' whole strategy for the next election is that the current discontent with the president and our position in Iraq only gets worse. They would love to have the election today, because this is their high point. But in their view, the current trend will continue. The situation in Iraq will get steadily worse. The president’s approval ratings will continue to sink. And our position in the world will steadily decline.

But what if the situation in Iraq got better? What if the surge actually worked? What if we actually kicked al Qaeda out of Iraq? What if we actually won?

I know that thought must send shivers down the spines of Democratic strategists. But it is not outside the realm of the possible.