America has been torn over this war. It had enormous popularity early on, which has evaporated into a seething cynicism.
This is not the first time. More than 140 years ago, America faced a similar crisis. The Copperhead Democrats wanted to make peace with the South and leave slavery alone. Too many people had died, the Democrats argued.
At Gettysburg, President Lincoln told them no, he would not allow our troops to die in vain. Elections have meaning. This past one put Bush on notice: Win the war or be done with it. He seems to have heard America.
Democrats are worried. The No. 3 Democrat in the House, James Clyburn of South Carolina, said last month that a good report from Petraeus in September would pose "a real big problem for us."
Here is hoping that the Clyburns of the world have a real big problem -- because that means the Iraqis have something they have not enjoyed in decades: Hope.