"President Bush says that if America leaves Iraq now, the violence will get worse, and terrorists could take control. He's right. But that will be true whenever we leave. 'Staying the course' only delays that day of reckoning."
Most intelligent people, who have been paying attention and are honest, recognized that Bush failed in Iraq, long before he was making a fool of himself on that aircraft carrier. But, conservative opinion makers have adopted narratives designed to obscure the realization. Fareed Zakaria, one of the most important makers of opinion on Iraq, has dropped the pretence.
Kevin Drum notices the tectonic shift in the conventional wisdom:
"Zakaria is a smart guy, but he's also a person who's good at putting his finger to the wind — and then getting credit for leading the way when he anticipates an imminent shift. That may be what's happening here. Sometimes all it takes is for one person to say something publicly in order to get everyone else to finally admit their own unspoken doubts. This may be the column that breaks the dam and makes withdrawal respectable among the center-right establishment."