Victor Davis Hanson writes at National Review Online, describing the mistakes made in executing the war in Iraq following the initial success in toppling Saddam Hussein's government, but argues that the outcome is not irrevocably lost.
But if we have an orphaned war that is dubbed lost, it nevertheless can still be won. None of our mistakes has been fatal; none is of a magnitude unprecedented in past wars; all have been cataloged; and few are now being repeated. We now understand the politics of our Iraqi odyssey, with all its triangulations, and the ruthlessness of our enemies.
Not arguments, rhetoric, pleading, or money right now can save the democracy in Iraq. The U.S. military alone, in the very little remaining time of this spring and summer, can give Iraqis the necessary window of security and confidence to govern and protect themselves, and thereby to allow the donors, peacekeepers, compromises, and conferences to follow.