Iraq's parliament just passed a law reinstating former Baath Party members to their former government jobs.
And of course, the avatars of personal responsibility, honor, and honesty on the right are crediting this positive development to the Bush administration's escalation of the war:
This looks like progress to me. It's progress that wouldn't have come without lowering the violence and removing the provocations and depredations of al-Qaeda in Iraq. That wouldn't have happened at all had we not ramped up our efforts and taken a much more aggressive posture against the terrorists -- and the Sunnis would not have cooperated if we hadn't signaled so strongly that we intended to beat AQI and stick it out.
Cernig provides the reality check:
At last, the measure that many on the Left had always said was crucially important if Iraq was to reclaim long-term stability - undoing the Bush administration's incredibly stupid decision to ban any and all who had been Ba'ath Party members from holding posts in government - has passed unanimously in the Iraqi parliament, albeit with a slim majority of possible votes. Although everyone present voted for the bill, only 143 lawmakers out of 275 turned up.
And quoting the same paragraph from Captain's Quarters that I pasted above, Cernig writes:
It's progress that wouldn't have come if the Sunnis of Anbar hadn't turned on AQI independently of and prior to the Surge, deciding that whatever else was happening AQ was bad for them. It's progress that wouldn't have come if the Awakening hadn't put together a cohesive 70,000 member militia army which could, should it wish to, create a de facto seperate state out of the Sunni heartlands and make anything the Green Zone's gravy train said or did redundant. The credit for ousting AQ and successfully pressuring the cental government goes entirely to the Anbaris and their Sunni sahwar friends in other areas. The most the Surge's commanders can truthfully claim is spotting what was going on then getting behind it and pushing with lots of money and guns. It's highly debatable whether any troops were actually needed at all.
Not to mention the fact that U.S. occupation authorities were responsible for de-Baathification to begin with, and we won't even bring up the fact that de-Baathification was a major cause of the insurgency -- without which there would have been no terrorist problem to take an "aggressive posture" toward.
But when everything negative that happens in Iraq is proof that the war is a good thing, and everything positive that happens in Iraq is proof that the war is a good thing, personal responsibility is really beside the point, isn't it?