Yesterday’s Washington Post editorial about President Bush’s legacy has a surprisingly positive assessment of his efforts in Iraq. In short, the editors conclude that history will render a more favorable judgment than current surveys of popular opinion:
“As matters in Iraq now stand, there is a decent chance of a reasonably pro-American incipient democracy in the heart of the Arab Middle East. This would be a major accomplishment, and one that would cast the invasion, the failures of the early years of occupation and the painful loss of more than 4,000 American lives and many thousand more Iraqi lives in a different light than the one in which they are seen by most Americans now. It would also vindicate his unpopular decision to stabilize Iraq with more U.S. troops rather than abandon it to civil war and possible genocide — an instance in which Mr. Bush’s self-assurance and steadfastness paid off.”
The editorial is by no means entirely positive about the Bush legacy. But that the editors were so optimistic about the war in Iraq is certainly worthy of note.