Georgia: Update and Considerations
Roundtable: Cloaks of Invisibility and Other Magic

A perspective on the Obama

James Scott Linville takes a critical look at the Obama and others more directly involved in winning the war.

When the Barack Obama World Tour arrived in Baghdad last month, the candidate, wearing shades and a cool suit, smiled and waved before descending the stairs from the plane. Later the Senator toured the city, and sat for interview with reporters. In shirt-sleeves, he gamely sunk a basketball shot from far out at the three-point line before grabbing a mike to address troops who assembled to cheer him on, and applauded wildly.  (His shot caught only the net, no rim or backboard. Truly the man has a light shining upon him.)

What we did NOT ever see was the candidate wearing a flak jacket, because during his time there he never needed to put one on.

For American viewers this lack of flak jacket, a Holmesian "dog that didn't bark," may have come as a surprise since over the last two years they had repeatedly been told, by the major network news programs, by the New York Times and The New Yorker, and by the Democratic leaders in Congress, that "the war" was being lost, or indeed had been lost.  As it happens, last month US casualties reached their lowest level since the '03 invasion. In his remarks during the tour, Mr. Obama recognized the change made "recently," and underscored that such success had come as a surprise to him, as it had as well, he suggested, to President Bush and Senator McCain.