The accomplishment of the United States, Coalition Forces and Iraqis is astonishing, especially when you consider the near-death experiences of 2006. The Middle East is more secure without the murderous Saddam Hussein in power, and it is immensely better off than it would have been had we failed in 2006. I believe this will be seen by future historians as a paradigm shifting event. For awhile many people feared that the initiative had passed to the bad guys or at least to the forces of chaos. The apparent disintegration of our position in 2005-06 seemed to confirm that impression. It was never as bad as it seemed or as bad as it was portrayed in the media, but the trend was unmistakable.
Today we have come out of the darkness into a new morning. It is still a little too dark to see clearly all the features, and it is still full of challenge and fraught with dangers but also full of opportunities. For the last generation and arguably since the end of World War I or the Sykes-Picot accord, this region has been unstable and dangerous. Maybe we can help make the future better than the past.
Our long suffering Iraqi friends deserve it.