President Bush was right in his decision to move ahead with the so-called surge, and we are seeing the fruits of that decision in the security, economic, and political arenas.See also David Brooks in Tuesday's New York Times:
What remains worrisome is the reaction of leading Democrats. Two years ago they were arguing that we should leave Iraq because the war was lost; now they are saying we should leave Iraq because the war is won.
The more subtle reality is that enormous progress has been made but, in the words of the 9010 report, our achievements remain fragile, reversible, and uneven. To withdraw precipitously from Iraq now, in light of the gains that have been made, would be self-defeating. After far too long a delay, we now have in place the right strategy in Iraq, with the results to prove it. What matters now is whether our war-weary nation and its political leadership can summon the will to see this endeavor through to completion, and to success.
When President Bush consulted his own generals, the story was much the same. Almost every top general, including Abizaid, Schoomaker and Casey, were against the surge. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was against it, according to recent reports. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki called for a smaller U.S. presence, not a bigger one.(via Instapundit)
In these circumstances, it’s amazing that George Bush decided on the surge. And looking back, one thing is clear: Every personal trait that led Bush to make a hash of the first years of the war led him to make a successful decision when it came to this crucial call.
Bush is a stubborn man. Well, without that stubbornness, that unwillingness to accept defeat on his watch, he never would have bucked the opposition to the surge.
Bush is an outrageously self-confident man. Well, without that self-confidence he never would have overruled his generals.
In fact, when it comes to Iraq, Bush was at his worst when he was humbly deferring to the generals and at his best when he was arrogantly overruling them.