The easy part is over

And let’s acknowledge up front that it was easier than a lot of people expected — including many military and intelligence analysts — and let’s posit that that’s a Good Thing. The shooting’s not over yet, and even Rumsfeld says that declarations of victory are premature — but if we soon reach a point at which no more American soldiers have to die on Iraqi soil, and no more Iraqi children have to have their arms blown off, then I think we can all be grateful for that.

The devil’s just going to be in the details. Can order be restored and maintained? Is democracy something which by definition can even be “imposed”? Does the United States have a long enough attention span to see this one through? (To that last, I suspect the answer is yes — if only because the oil’s there — though what “seeing it through” means remains anybody’s guess.)

In the meantime, congratulations. You’ve just adopted approximately 23 million Iraqis.