I'm not as isolated as I once was among conservatives on Iraq:
One felt at the end of the week that Iraq will continue as a long and ongoing story, that it is unlikely that we will find a perfect moment to leave, that it will always be too soon, the situation too delicate. It will always seem a place perched on a precipice over a canyon.
One sensed too that Iraq will in fact be issue No. 1 to be faced by the next president, whoever he or she is. That individual, in January 2009, will likely be faced by mischief makers of all stripes throughout the capital, with a question that is an artificial construct. "Did he see the mission through?" Or "Did he lose Iraq?" The latter would be most unjust, because we never had Iraq. We haven't found it, in spite of our best efforts, because the people of Iraq never found it. And it was their nation to find. This seemed clearer than ever this week, which was part of the reason for the sighing.