Over Before It Started

What a difference four months makes. Since my last post, a lot has changed in this election, first and foremost being the Democrats just dodging a horrible mistake and getting behind Obama. This week, the most important thing that's happened in this election so far, in my opinion, has unfolded: The Iraqi government has gotten behind Obama's plan for withdrawing American troops by 2010, a long time before McCain's timetable...

While I realize that this is largely a political decision by Al-Maliki, who needs to publicly oppose a continued occupation as often as possible, this still changes the calculous of this war, and this election, considerably. I've always assumed that the US disengagement from Iraq will be under the political cover of the Iraqi government asking us to leave: it's clear that a) the "we've got to finish the job" crowd is never going to go away, and b) we're never going to "finish the job." Thus, the only way where hawks and the military won't lose face is to reluctantly leave under the demand of the Iraqi's, thus nobly appearing to give in to the will of the Iraqis. Anyway, this week's news essentially opens the door to this exit. All we have to do now is elect Obama and we're out.

This does to major things to the election: First, it makes it clear that a vote for Obama is a vote to end the war, period. Second, it also makes McCain's standpoint look out of sync with the "liberation not occupation" rhetoric that has been used so often. Frankly, I think this is the beginning of the end of this war, finally.