As the Washington Post quotes a senior official who says the administration is lowering its expectations of success in Iraq—after downgrading the "global war on terror" to "a global struggle against violent extremism"—and "shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning." Considering the overblown chest-thumping of Bush and Rumsfeld when they started the war, this is huge. So huge that, as Frank Rich says, someone oughta tell Bush the war is over:
Nothing that happens on the ground in Iraq can turn around the fate of this war in America: not a shotgun constitution rushed to meet an arbitrary deadline, not another Iraqi election, not higher terrorist body counts, not another battle for Falluja (where insurgents may again regroup, The Los Angeles Times reported last week). A citizenry that was asked to accept tax cuts, not sacrifice, at the war's inception is hardly in the mood to start sacrificing now. There will be neither the volunteers nor the money required to field the wholesale additional American troops that might bolster the security situation in Iraq.