Many of the Democrats who voted to authorize the war in Iraq publicly regretted their vote. Hillary said she made a mistake and John Edwards publicly apologized for his vote. When they regreted their votes they clamored for a withdrawal. Harry Reid publicly announced, “This war is lost.” He should have been tried for treason. They acted like their vote was as easily reversible as changing a tie to match a different suit.
But Bush made changes: Rumsfeld went out, Patraeus went in and a dramatic turnaround ensued. Terrorism is on the decline around the world, and we are close to drawing down our troops levels in Iraq.
America has succeeding in stopping a second terrorist attack, the main purpose of our foreign policy. It has removed a terrorist regime in Afghanistan and established a democratic government there. It has removed a terroristic threat in Iraq and established a democratic government there as well. During the process Libya has ceased their nuclear weapons development and Israel has destroyed a nuclear development in Syria.
History will record this as a significant achievement. The mistakes and blunders made along the way (abu ghraib ) will fade into the trivial fog.
The Democrats and a few Republicans who changed their support will appear vacillating and uncertain during a time that required clarity and commitment.
Reversing an important commitment can be far more destructive than making it in the first place. Victory belongs to the committed.