Iraq's Not Dead Yet

Iraq may be yesterday’s news (literally), but that doesn’t mean bloggers are completely done talking about it. Leslie Gelb supports President Obama’s “focus on revitalizing the economy,” but says reality may have other ideas. It will be difficult, Gelb writes, for Obama to withdraw troops as planned from Iraq and Afghanistan, but if he cannot bring troop levels down to “manageable levels” soon, his “great cause of American restoration will be further weakened.”

In the meantime, Iraq invasion instigator Douglas Feith feels the need to explain “why Iraq matters.” Feith says the reason is simple: “America is more secure.” And Richard Haas thinks Obama’s speech raised more questions than it answered: What happens if the situation in Afghanistan fails to improve? How can America keep spending “$100 billion or more a year” there and cut defense spending?

Matt Yglesias said the address made him angry “all over again” by reiterating the “hardened conventional wisdom that ‘the surge’ in Iraq was a big success.” He says Iraq’s political progress has “nothing whatsoever “ to do with the U.S. presence there and “it never did.”