Mark Bowden ("Democrats lagging behind Iraq war times" Feb. 29, Page B-7) notes that in January, 40 American soldiers died in Iraq -- "down by more than two-thirds" from last year. He contends that Republicans can hang onto the White House if the trend continues and that the Democrats need "to start making sense about Iraq."
Apparently now that the level of violence has improved from horrible to somewhere between terrible and desperate, Bowden believes that John McCain's consistent support of the Iraq invasion can earn him the presidency.
Bowden admits, "Iraqi lawmakers have fallen short of the political benchmarks sought by the Bush administration." Political reconciliation, after all, was the goal of the surge, but benchmarks only seem to matter when judging our public schools. The very definition of success in Iraq has devolved from a beacon of democracy in the Middle East to some nebulous notion of relative peace and stability. An unjustified war costing thousands of lives and billions of dollars while making us less safe is indeed a tragic blunder.