“Victory” in Iraq Defined


A U.S soldier shakes the hand of an Iraqi boy during a patrol in Baquba, in Diyala province some 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, October 21, 2008.
REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Bush War critics often say success and victory have never been defined. It’s been defined repeatedly; but not as often as the mantra, “What does victory in Iraq mean? It has never been defined?” *Sigh*

I’d say this is the moment when victory is in clear sight:

Though he’d been on a mission all day and was about to drop, Mike Yon just called from Iraq to let me know that the war is over, and we’ve won. Whatever it is that is left of violence, there isn’t combat. Roughly half of the men in the unit of the 10th Mountain Division he was out on missions with are veterans with previous tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, and in eight months into their deployment in southern Baghdad, they haven’t fired a single bullet in combat.

Our soldiers in Iraq have played many roles and worn many hats, but it seems that their primary role now is that of a peacekeeper, providing support to a government and a people that seem increasingly capable of handling their own affairs.

We can declare victory because President Bush wouldn’t quit on his troops. If Barack Obama had his way, a triumphant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would have had a chance to have made the same claim over the Caliphate of Iraq.

Confederate Yankee

More from Michael Yon, via Instapundit:

And the place we’re at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there’s nothing going on. I’ve been walking my feet off and haven’t seen anything. I’ve been asking Iraqis, ‘do you think the violence will kick up again,’ but even the Iraqi journalists are sounding optimistic now and they’re usually dour.” There’s a little bit of violence here and there, but nothing that’s a threat to the general situation. Plus, not only the Iraqi Army, but even the National Police are well thought of by the populace. Training from U.S. toops has paid off, he says, in building a rapport.

He says the big problem everybody is talking about now is corruption. But hey, we have that here, too. He’ll be heading to Afghanistan next week. “Afghanistan is a bad situation, but on Iraq I can’t believe things have turned out so well.”

President Elect Obama and Pelosi-Reid wish to “end the war”. Thanks to the efforts of President Bush and Senator McCain supporting General Petraeus and the soldiers on the ground, they have “WON the war.”

*UPDATE* 11/18/08 0645

Hugh Hewitt, Monday:

Yesterday’s vote by the Iraqi cabinet to approve a status of forces agreement confirms what most reasonable people had concluded this summer –that the battle for Iraq is over and the country is stable and secure even though its enemies remain in small enclaves within the country and across the border in Iran. It has taken five years and come at a high cost in American lives lost and in thousands of wounded soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

It is, however, a crucial victory in the war against Islamist extremism and for stability in the Middle East. Only blinkered victims of Bush Derangement Syndrome would want to throw away the fact of a multi-party, multi-ethnic democratic government in the heart of the Arab world, one capable of countering Iranian influence in the region and one that partners with the West in the ongoing battle against al Qaeda. The new agreement calls for the full withdrawal of American forces in three years –an orderly exit that allows order to endure within Iraq.

Zombietime suggests Saturday, November 22nd be declared Victory in Iraq Day.

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Well not that the liberal illuminati are in power no matter how you define it it is going to be seen as a loss. The illuminati are not going to let Bush and the war be seen any other way.

Yeah, go figure. While the Left and the Democrats and the mass media were busy trying to “end the war”, President Bush, the Right, Senator McCain and the United States Military were busy winning the war.

And these idiotic tools are still trying to “end the war”, after it has already been won.

Democrats do everything to cause the Fannie/Freddie crisis and get none of the blame.

President Bush and the United States military do everything to ensure victory in Iraq and get none of the credit.

Un-fuhkeen-real what has happened to the sanity and logic of tens of millions of Americans.

no more talk about the success being fragile ? well I guess that and that fact the the Iraqis are saying NO you can’t stay means that the new view is WE HAVE WON !! and with our casualties now coming more from members of the Iraqi army than al Qaeda and that sunni imam giving sunnis the greenlight on American troops. And Mookie ??? what ever happened to him does he know that we have declared victory ? Looks like his order to stand down is going to pay dividends now he still has his forces in tact.

our soldiers are winners every single dayt hat they put themselves out there in iraq. we have won the trust and admiration of the iraqies that will overshadow all of the bullshit from the left.

Can America afford the results of the test Joe Biden guarantees will happen? What if ruthless Islamic radicals test Obama?

The cost of failure was the radicalization of Iran, the rise of violent Islamist movements, the loss of a strategic ally and the emboldening of America’s adversaries worldwide.

They tested him in Somalia and he failed, they tested him in Tanzania and he failed, they tested him in New York City in 1993 and he failed. Finally, they tested him in Yemen by ramming an explosive-filled boat into the USS Cole, killing Americans and nearly sinking that ship. Clinton failed his tests, confirming to Osama Bin Laden his view of America as a paper tiger, and prompting 911.

They tested him by crashing airliners into American landmarks, murdering 3,000 people in the process on September 11, 2001. By responding to those attacks instantly and ferociously, that president passed his “test.” The proof of that is irrefutable: America has not been attacked since, and those who administered his “test” have spent the last seven years so occupied by the pursuit of self-preservation, that they have not had the time to test him again. Islamic radicals would be extremely hesitant to “test” him, or someone like him, again.

Politically speaking, Barack Obama has far more in common with Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton than he does with George W. Bush. Obama promises to hold non-conditional talks with America’s enemies. He and fellow leftist Democrats promise to downsize the military and to walk away from Iraq. Obama spoke about the “tiny” country of Iran and about preemptively invading Pakistan, illustrating a shocking ineptitude in the realms of foreign policy and basic geography. None of his statements or gaffe-prone political posturing has escaped the notice of America’s enemies. They will be racing each other to “test” President Obama. If one of those “tests” is of the magnitude of 911 while America is in a weakened economic state, she might not survive.


The best thing about invading Iraq is that it gives us a base to fight the Russians once they provoke World War 3.

luva~Yes! God, please let people see.
I have been following scarce stories of SOFA and waiting to read a story like this. I feel a defining moment that just blows me away and swells me majestically with pride is here. One such moment: Purple Fingers! We need more letters from our heroes.
Thank you, WS! 🙂

Right On Luva.

Newest & easiest prediction:

Within 3 months of Obama taking office, the media will suddenly start flooding the airwaves with human interest stories of what the military has been doing to make Iraqi lives easier. Those same stories they buried during the Bush administration. They will give the credit of course to Obama, which he will happily accept. Just as he accepted credit for that bill that others spent long hours working on (See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/23/AR2008032301706_pf.html) and the bailout bill.

We will finally see the happy faces of Iraqi families thankful for all that NATO servicemen and women have accomplished there. The world is once again a bright and shiny place thanks to the leadership of BHO.

Barrack will seize this opportunity to springboard a plug for, and urging the passage of, the U.N.’s Global Poverty Act. Then give credit to organizations like YouthBuild for their international poverty wing, segwaying into the part they will play in his Mandatory Civilian Brown Shirt Police Force Youth Socialist Leadership Initiatives.

And these idiotic tools are still trying to “end the war”, after it has already been won.

This is a supremely idiotic statement. You should be nominated for some kind of award.

I saw this on Ace of Spades:


Why don’t you explain the basis of your accusation? Did you read anything Wordsmith wrote before your knee started jerking?

“This is a supremely idiotic statement. You should be nominated for some kind of award.”

Well, if citing facts is now considered “supremely idiotic”, then I consider myself a proud supreme idiot.

The late Lt. General William Odom, who was Reagan’s NSA Director, always made the point that the outcome in Iraq would be the same, whether the US stayed 10 weeks or 10 months or 10 years. The forces in play work on God’s time, not on any schedule. If you’ve got a surge and you are getting slaughtered, then you lie low and see how things shake out. The Iraqis demand that we get out by 2011. Then we’ll all see what happens.

There are larger issues, however. Within the last couple weeks there was an official Bush administration assessment, which concluded that the scope of terrorist planning operations has expanded considerably and that the US is vulnerable, most of all, to biological weapons, followed by “dirty” nuclear devices, and then to explosive nuclear devices.

It is unclear how the waging and continuance of the Iraq War has served to protect America from any of the above. The ultimate cost of the Iraq War will be in the neighborhood of $3 trillion, including post war veterans expenses. Even in the post-“victory” phase of operations, we are spending in 4 months in Iraq what we are spending in an entire year of operating all of our intelligence services, the latter of which will provide us with actual protection against the true threats to our national security.

$3 trillion. Perhaps it shall have bought us “victory” in Iraq. This remains to be seen. It could have bought us improved intelligence. It could have bought us the solvency of both Social Security and Medicare. Could have bought a heck of a lot.

Was “victory” worth the price? More importantly, where do we spend our anti-terrorism money in the future?

We need to identify the true threats to our security and allocate our resources in a way which maximizes our protection against those threats.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

Kilo: Why don’t you explain the basis of your accusation?

The guy said some people were idiots for wanting to end a war that has already been won. Well what better time is there to end a war than once you have won it ? What alternative scenario are you advocating ?
I wouldn’t have guessed that this would need explanation. What concept could be less complicated than victory in a war entailing the end of that war ? Did victory in Iraq always require permanent deployment in Iraq or is this something new ?


The war is technically won, we’ve been winning it for months, still hasn’t stopped certain elements from denying the success. I believe that to be Michael from MI’s contention, he can correct me if I’m wrong. Having read through many of M from MI’s comments here and his blog, I felt comfortable enough to make that judgement. Claiming his statement was “idiotic” was uncalled for.

Iraq has improved tremendously, thank our troops, the President and Sec/Def Gates, it doesn’t mean it is time to pull out. Troop reduction levels are still on an incremental basis and I haven’t heard that those plans have changed. Commanders on the ground best know when it’s time to pick up the tempo, that will then go up the chain to make changes in troop strength in Iraq, not to disgruntled members of Congress.

Right on, WS! If only others could put aside the hate for a moment and just listen to words…

Another deranged post from Larry. Ah yes, still trying to make us believe crushing Al-Q in Iraq didn’t make us safer. Well larry, we saw what happened when the taliban had a safe haven in little Afghanistan. So cite all the discredited clinton appointed generals you want, the fact is we are safer because of our actions in Iraq.

Kilo: The war is technically won, we’ve been winning it for months, still hasn’t stopped certain elements from denying the success

Well you can add me to that list. If you say the war has been won for months, rather than since April 2003, then you aren’t talking about combat operations. Hence, WTF does an absence of combat operations count for ?

Instead, since that time, you are talking about stability operations. Now either Michael Yon and Soldier X’s rifle usage were some of those benchmarks for success or they weren’t. They weren’t.

You’ve got political factions trying to gain muscle with the SOFA, the SoI situation and control issues like Kirkuk. Remember, you can say surge, surge, surge all you want, but there’s still 100,000 armed, experienced former insurgents that were getting paid to fight al Qaeda instead of US troops, with the promise of being integrated into the ISF, who the government doesn’t particularly want to pay or integrate. You should be able to guess how that ends up, same as everyone else can.

I don’t know the date that that goes tits up (there is a date proposed, but it’s not like anyone is working to that schedule) but saying it is fixed today doesn’t change the obvious outcome. Either it’s resolved or you are simply delaying a date for the insurgency to resume and civil war to return. If that occurs how have you won any more than you had the day before the insurgency kicked off ?

There’s a reason you’re quoting a reporter saying this and not military leaders.

@Hard Right:
Ah yes, still trying to make us believe crushing Al-Q in Iraq didn’t make us safer. Well larry, we saw what happened when the taliban had a safe haven in little Afghanistan. So cite all the discredited clinton appointed generals you want, the fact is we are safer because of our actions in Iraq.

Who’s the Bush-appointed General that won’t tell you the same thing ?
What war college study hasn’t said this since 2003?
I wonder what it is you think has been serving as aQ’s #1 recruiting tool for the past 5 years if not the Iraq war. Or what better use those troops could have been put to regarding that whole Taliban in Afghanistan issue, what with that still being the case and the senior aQ leadership still alive today.

Larry #14… kinda in and out of here sporatically on travel/vacation plans…. But this cannot be ignored.

Just what are you using as a monthly expense for cost of war? And I’m quite sure your math is better than you are portraying here…. even if you use $10bil per month… twice the amount of reality for the defense budget costs… Three tril is 25 years in Iraq at $10bil monthly. Or, if you bring it down to *real* figures… 50 years minimal at this aggressive pace of action.

Wanna bring this down to reality? Or are we just playing the billion/trillion name game?

And… if you have the time in your very important (no sarcasm there.. you really *are* one of those attempting to “cure cancer”…)… would you care to play with the defense budget (one of the only legitimate federal mandates to the country) after there is a withdrawal from Iraq, and a US escalation of troops in Afghanistan, intead of a NATO escalation?

The left-wing illuminati don’t even want to admit that the war has been a success, thanks to the surge. That’s why they can start pulling soldiers out.