Read the whole editorial. The key graphs:
Iraq passed a turning point last fall when the U.S. counterinsurgency campaign launched in early 2007 produced a dramatic drop in violence and quelled the incipient sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites. Now, another tipping point may be near, one that sees the Iraqi government and army restoring order in almost all of the country, dispersing both rival militias and the Iranian-trained “special groups” that have used them as cover to wage war against Americans. It is — of course — too early to celebrate; though now in disarray, the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr could still regroup, and Iran will almost certainly seek to stir up new violence before the U.S. and Iraqi elections this fall. Still, the rapidly improving conditions should allow U.S. commanders to make some welcome adjustments — and it ought to mandate an already-overdue rethinking by the “this-war-is-lost” caucus in Washington, including Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
If the positive trends continue, proponents of withdrawing most U.S. troops, such as Mr. Obama, might be able to responsibly carry out further pullouts next year. Still, the likely Democratic nominee needs a plan for Iraq based on sustaining an improving situation, rather than abandoning a failed enterprise. That will mean tying withdrawals to the evolution of the Iraqi army and government, rather than an arbitrary timetable; Iraq’s 2009 elections will be crucial. It also should mean providing enough troops and air power to continue backing up Iraqi army operations such as those in Basra and Sadr City. When Mr. Obama floated his strategy for Iraq last year, the United States appeared doomed to defeat. Now he needs a plan for success.
Only the hard-left, led by Senator Obama, want to seize surrender before victory becomes irreversible. So Obama keeps his head in the sand and himself far away from the theater and a meeting with General Petraeus, demonstrating the same sort of leadership he has on the issues surrounding Ayers, Dohrn, Pfleger, Rezko, and Wright, his absurd plan to nearly double the capital gains tax, and many other issues. Wholly created by the media and the far left of the Democratic Party where MoveOn.org and the Kos kids dominate, Obama is now trapped with a campaign mantra that grows more and more disconnected from the realities of the U.S. even as voters increasingly perceive his true history as a hard-left Chicago machine pol and not his convenient rhetoric.
When the Washington Post is lambasting the Democratic nominee for defeatism in the face of success, a corner has been turned.