I did find this comment interesting, from Karen DeYoung and Tom Ricks in the Post:
The General's Long View Could Cut Withdrawal Debate Short - washingtonpost.com
Rather than stopping the clock, U.S. troops have turned it back, Petraeus said, showing charts indicating that violence has fallen to roughly the level it was when sectarian battles erupted in Iraq in mid-2006. Neither Petraeus nor Crocker mentioned the nearly 4 1/2 years of U.S. military involvement that began with the March 2003 invasion; both seemed to date U.S. involvement in Iraq as beginning anew with the troop escalation that started early this year.
That is about how our memories and minds are supposed to work: to applaud half measures and non-changes in a totally reshaped world where time itself either has stopped or has no meaning. We are supposed to ignore the war and original mission/advertised motivation for the war. With each redesign of the war, each continuance, our heads gradually nod, we grow weary, and, finally, we sleep.