JOHN HINDERAKER ON SURGE TALK: “I don’t particularly object to sending more troops to Iraq, but to what end? As long as we implicitly accept the proposition that violence in Baghdad means our effort is a failure, we put our fate in the hands of the extremists on both sides. If some Sunnis and Shiites are determined to kill one another, I doubt that 9,000 more troops, or even a much larger number, will stop them.”

He also observes: “If the principal tangible difference between the President’s position and the Democrats’ is the addition of 9,000 troops on top of the 140,000 already in Iraq, then the differences are even narrower than I thought.” Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Bill Quick thinks the Democrats are being played. But he’s just as uncertain as me about why Bush has given Syria and Iran a pass.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Ivo Daalder wants failure in Iraq before 2008. Or something like that.

MORE: Okay, looking at this the next morning my characterization of Daalder is a bit unfair. He already thinks it’s a failure — even though he supported the invasion of Iraq — he just wants to be sure it’s seen as a failure before the election.

STILL MORE: Reader Rachel Walker emails: “Why are people (especially Democrats) declaring Iraq a failure and want Americans to leave? Don’t they realize that A) we will have a real genocidal issue over there and B) the Dems will have to deal with it sooner or later? Thank you very much.”

I think that too many people in both parties are more worried about the 2008 elections than about the actual war. This is a very bad thing.