This big-picture look at Iraq is necessary because it realistically looks at the difficulty we face there but also notes how "situation hopeless, but not serious" isn't a realistic view of things. It is especially necessary because a lot in Congress and elsewhere are falling for Al Qaida's Tet-like bluff - making themselves look stronger than they in fact are, and thus making Iraq look like a lost cause instead of an improving opportunity.
Incredibly, George Will, a columnist who should know better, has fallen for this absurd premise based on a conversation with George Smith, a Senator from Oregon. Will's June 17 column relating this story never made much sense and was baffling. Smith talked about how in September he and other Republicans were ready to try and effectively cut off funding for winning the war - as if a surge that has not been finished would somehow fail by then.
This is why Congress should never get involved in war decisions, because they're not qualified to make them - especially since Congressional ignorance of the war is a threat to the success of operations such as this one.