Despite the plan, which has brought an additional 28,500 U.S. troops to Iraq since February, none of the major legislation that Washington had expected the Iraqi parliament to pass into law has been approved.Michael Barone of US News takes on a political approach, but sees things the way I do:
The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has increased, not decreased, according to the United Nations' International Organization for Migration and Iraq's Ministry for Displacement and Migration.
Military officials say sectarian killings in Baghdad are down more than 51% and attacks on civilians and security forces across Iraq have decreased. But this has not translated into a substantial drop in civilian deaths as insurgents take their lethal trade to more remote regions.
Democrats as harshly partisan as Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and as steadfastly opposed to military action in Iraq as Washington Rep. Brian Baird have had to admit or report that Petraeus' "surge" strategy and forward-moving tactics have produced military progress in Iraq. We are making gains that even strong supporters of the administration were unwilling to claim in July. For Baird, this means Congress should support the surge and not attempt to recall troops now.Barone goes on to say that Americans will readily choose victory over stalemate, but not stalemate over withdrawal.
I'm optimistic in eventual progress in Iraq both militarily and politically, but not so much about our patience here.