Gratifying to me was his saying that the troops really do feel appreciated and supported by the public, and can distinguish criticism of the war from criticism of the men and women in uniform (unlike in Vietnam days). None of the rest was gratifying at all:The Conservatists certainly know how to turn their core constituencies against them.
• Surge has "worked" because Iraqis who just want to start killing one another again are biding their time. Après nous, le deluge.
• No one could comprehend the waste of money in US expenditures in Iraq.
• IEDs have become infinitely more sophisticated, very high tech now, and can penetrate all but one type of US vehicle. Suicide bombers can penetrate anything they want.
• When an IED blows up a vehicle in a convoy, and you are two vehicles away in the same convoy, the force of the explosion is so violent you are thrown against the interior of your vehicle, you are temporarily deafened, etc.
• Troop morale is high because they sense they are going home, most of them. But there is no way US can be out in five years or even ten without leaving too much equipment behind.
• Although troop morale is high, they universally hate George W. Bush now.
* I'm counting this post as Part Two.