Victory is declared!
Drink it and you’ll believe anything
The mission of David Petraeus is to give George Bush the “victory” he has demanded in Iraq. The surge may be working as advertised or may be a statistical mirage but the command genius of Petraeus is to realise that what is really important is to create an illusion of victory. Which is why he has so many of his brightest officers producing Power Point presentations proving that Bush is winning. Greater loyalty hath no soldier to his commander in chief.
In the information wars where spin is everything, it’s not whether you really win or lose a war that matters, but what people think happened.
The British are setting the standards for retreat having abandoned downtown Basra and preparing to quit the airport with a cock-and-bull story that this is what they had in mind all along. It was an ironic touch having the bugler blow the “advance” as the final convoy abandoned downtown Basra.
The Americans, too, are going to have to leave soon but are taking more care to build their narrative. They will not simply cut and run like us Brits. They will take care to declare victory first, then cut and run. Whatever subsequently happens in Iraq is now going to be blamed on the Iraqis themselves. What a glorious war!