If the case for staying depended on extrapolating from the modest gains the general claims for his surge, it would be a weak one. The strong case is that if America leaves, things will get even worse. This can only be a guess, but it is more plausible than the alternative guess that America's going will nudge Iraq in the right direction.
I shall expect everyone who claimed that a positive Petreus report would serve as proof we should stay to shut the fuck up and realize that they really believed the second case -- that we should stay regardless -- all along.
I don't at all believe that leaving will "nudge Iraq in the right direction" or even that things will continue to remain simply Hellish. I suspect our departure will make things worse. I simply also suspect that our staying will make things worse, in a lot of ways, not least of which is the effect on the US.
So where are we? Exactly where I fucking predicted we would be.
The Petreus report is, by most accounts I trust (the Economist among them), a spin laden crock of shit, and his testimony characterized less by honest examination than predictable political posturing by every single one of his questioners (to their extreme fucking shame, if they had any).
So here we are. Nothing's been proved. Nothing's changed. You either think we can make a difference in Iraq, or you think we should keep going, as penance, regardless of whether we can make a difference, or you think it's all cocked up beyond repair and staying is only prolonging the inevitable.
I remain in the latter camp, by a small margin. I simply don't see the point of prolonging this.
The Iraq war | Why they should stay | Economist.com