While reading one of the military blogs I found a link to this article by Scott Ritter.
He starts the article by suggesting that Iraq is a second Vietnam!
Okay now, I wasn't born yet when the war ended in Vietnam but I had read a lot about that war and I live in Baghdad as you already know so I think I'm not entirely clueless about this subject.
What I really see is that the only things in common between the two conflicts are that they were/are both in Asia and that American military power was/is involved.
I can't understand how he could see Iraq similar to Vietnam when the vast majority of the population here is happy with getting rid of Saddam, i.e. glad the change took place in Iraq.
The wildest estimations for the size of "insurgency" in Iraq suggest that there are less than a hundred thousand "insurgents" and double that number of supporters, i.e. a total of 300 000 which roughly represents only 1% of the total population of Iraq.
Even if we double the above estimations, we will end up with 98% of the population are against those "insurgents".
I think Ritter in his article (which as you see was endorsed by Al-Jazeera) ignored the whole country of Iraq and built his entire "analysis" on stories from Al-Qaim and tried to generalize the situation in that spot over the rest of Iraq.
Obviously he doesn't recognize that Al-Qaim which is nothing but a remote suburb had been used as the main entrance for foreign fighters who want to enter Iraq from Syria. It's actually the transit stop for foreign terrorists on their way to the rest of Iraq, i.e. it's just another small town hijacked by the terrorists.
I realize that declaring victory will require a lot of patience, sacrifices and efforts from both; Iraqis and the coalition but I can't see America losing because this would mean much greater loss for Iraq in the 1st place, and Iraqis (the remaining 99% after excluding the 1% mentioned above) definitely don't want to see that happen.
It's always wrong to take one case and generalize it over the whole picture, I mean the same way that Ritter used Al-Qai'm as a parameter to weigh the situation in Iraq I could use Samawa, Sulaimaniyah or Basra to say that everything is moving in the right direction and this is not true either.
What would best escribe the situation is to aknowledge the fact that many parts of 5 provinces out of 18 in Iraq are still in a critical phase while the rest of the country is living in far more stable conditions.
And this applies to all other aspects of the situation in Iraq; political, military, economic and social. So one can focus on the great progress acheived in a relatively short time to get more momentum to make more progress in the turbulent spots or one can close an eye and a half and see only places where little or no progress was acheived.
I believe this depends on one's intentions.