Now, the Obama-Biden pair that opposed the Iraq war and its tactics and predicted their failure is prepared to accept credit for its success.
It seems that Biden, who's from Delaware when he's in Delaware and Pennsylvania when in Pennsylvania, is certain now that Iraq will turn out to be one of the Obama-Biden administration's greatest achievements.
Here's how Biden put it to Lar:
I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.Biden did not elaborate on what all the administration's other "great achievements" were so far.
I spent -- I've been there 17 times now. I go about every two months -- three months. I know every one of the major players in all the segments of that society. It's impressed me. I've been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences.
No doubt, Iraqis too are very thankful for that 2008 U.S. election. (Full King transcript here.)
Biden is most likely talking about the achievement of bringing home thousands of combat troops. Never mind that the US will continue stationing troops in Iraq as a backstop and to maintain a presence in Iraq as a bulwark against Iranian aggression, but this is the fulfillment (or perceived fulfillment) of one of Obama's campaign promises - to bring the troops home.
It is not about victory. It's about political promises and appearances.
The achievements of the Obama Administration in Iraq are largely to let the Bush Administration policies continue to bear fruit and draw down the troops in Iraq. The Obama Administration had little to nothing to do with beating the insurgency and the establishment of a stable consensual government in Baghdad that doesn't need the US military to constantly provide security; that was done on the Bush Administration's watch.
Mind you also that the Iraq achievement will be felt most during the Obama term, and they'll try to glom on to the credit, but the heavy lifting was done by a Bush Administration that made quite a few mistakes before getting the surge right and settling things down.