The Biggest Spin

It is so big it needs to be rebutted tout court:

Obama opposed the war. But the war is all but over. What remains is an Iraq turned from aggressive, hostile power in the heart of the Middle East to an emerging democracy openly allied with the United States. No president would want to be responsible for undoing that success.

The following is not really in dispute by anyone. There are still well over 130,000 American troops occupying Iraq. We have no secure idea what will happen when they leave. We have as yet no reliable integration of Sunnis into the largely Shiite Iraqi military. We have not seen what will transpire after the looming regional elections. Terror attacks continue in ways that remain routine for Iraq but that are unimaginable in any other country. Critical issues like Kirkuk remain unmanaged. The very close alliance between Baghdad and Tehran goes unmentioned by Krauthammer but remains a serious question for the future.

The possibility, in short, that Iraq has lurched, via hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of American dollars, from an unstable, fractious tyranny hostile to Iran to an unstable, fractious, failed state friendly to Iran is a real one. The possibility that we are in a lull before another hot phase of a civil war that goes back centuries is an equally real one. To pretend that all is peachy, that the war is "all but over", and that the practical impossibility of Obama being able to extract himself and us from the catastrophe of the Iraq occupation is proof of vindication for Bush is so cynical it's jaw-dropping.

It's an attempt to set up the president-elect so that the disaster Bush created can soon be blamed on the man who thought it was a bad idea in the first place. It's of a piece with the looming Republican plan to assail Obama for massive spending after the GOP increased government spending for eight years at a pace not seen since the 1930s.

If these people had any shame, they might hold their peace. But we know at this point that the more shame is merited the less these people feel.