We won’t really know that the good news in Iraq is permanent until-the NY Times and Washington Post, along with Newsweek and Time (I remember especially a Feb. op-ed by a well known pundit declaring that Bush is no Truman because of his failure to acknowledge that Iraq was lost), feel shamed enough to report the turn-about without the necessary qualifiers about Iraq still being the worst something or other.
Or until we cease hearing all the brilliant exposes by experts and statesmen demanding trisection of the country;
Or until we see a sudden drop-off in the appearance of the brilliant best-selling books about fiascoes, quagmires and the utter hopelessness of Iraq.
Or until we start to hear some belated post-facto regret on the part of Democratic “mainstream” leaders about the “polarization” brought on by the Moveon.org attacks on Gen. Petraeus;
Or until we start to sense a return on the part of some to their punditry of 2003, along the lines of something like — “the necessary war I once supported was ruined by the incompetent planning of others, but, fortunately due to my persistent criticism, enough people listened to me to enact the changes I railed for, and now after due introspection there is a good chance Iraq is back to what I originally envisioned in spring 2003.”
When we start reading that implicit line of reasoning in our columns and op-eds, then we can be sure that there is a good chance that the good news from the front is permanent.