I remember when we won the Iraq war. When President Chimpy McHitlerburton stood on the deck of that aircraft carrier and said “Major combat operations have ended” That was it. That was the end of the war. What we've had since then is an occupation.
(I wish people would keep these terms straight.)
It goes on and on, whatever "it" is. No one knows if we are winning or losing. Perhaps this is simply for a lack of metrics on which to base such a conclusion.
So what are those metrics? What is "Success in Iraq?" What are the "victory conditions?"
Is success when all the Iraqis convert to Christianity?
Is success where they have a western-style election with purple fingers and all? (But is it still a success if they use that freedom to vote for someone who really hates us, like Sadr? Yes? No?)
Is it a success simply if the area quiets down?
… what if it quiets down because it's been largely annexed by Iran?
… what if it quiets down because the Shiites exterminated all the Sunnis?
Is it still a success if it quiets down but we have to abandon all our "permanent" bases out along the Iraqi border?
So I guess there's this list of checkboxes. And once all these boxes are checked, we will have won the war/occupation/whatever-you-call-it. What are those checkboxes and where does Darth Cheney hide this list?
Here's another question for you: is the order of these occurrences relevant?
I wonder if people may one day say, "you could say it was a success because there was peace after the occupation." Other people may answer: "well, I don't know how much of a success the occupation was since the violence only came to an end AFTER we got out! I wonder why that president kept us in there so long. You know, it's really too bad that Crazy Cheney blew Bush's face off during that quail hunt. Now we'll never know."
Who knows. I mean, WTF is success in Iraq, anyways?
I'm just glad I don't have kids. I would hate to explain to them when they are teenagers the madness of King George, and to have to invent some lame-ass justification for why we all didn't rise up, grab our torches and pitchforks and march on that tyrant in the White House. How embarrassing.