Today you wrote: ”It’s hard to be optimistic at all about Iraq…” Optimism is for people who believe in progress — in other words, not conservatives. The world sucks, permanently, but let us do our best to bend its suckiness to our advantage, as that is the most we can hope for. I think we have done that in Iraq, with greater and lesser success, but done it we have. Now, let us count the ways we prefer post-invasion Iraq to pre-invasion Iraq. 1) Saddam, not so much a dictator anymore. 2) Uday and Qusay dead — sad to say and not very Christian of me, but sometimes the world is better when really bad guys get iced. 3) Speaking of bad guys, I like that they seem to be attracted to Iraq as a place to come and visit violence on we Americans. We have fine American fighting men and women in Iraq who can shoot them in the face. This is, on balance, preferable to them coming to Hoboken to blow up shopping malls and then lawyering up. Please don’t contribute to the negativism. Courage. Life sucks, but we’re Americans, and that’s still as good as it gets.