For all intents and purposes, the national news purveyors have decided that the war in Iraq is no longer of much interest, and no longer has the power to help cable news networks in their ongoing work of peddling Viagra and prostate nostrums to the American public. Ask your doctor if serious news coverage is right for you. Violence is down (though 12 more U.S. soldiers died there this week), so the surge "worked." That's what we're told, anyway. What you are not told is that Shrubber is paying through the nose with your children's borrowed tax dollars (many billions monthly). So now we can all turn our attention to more important matters here at home, like news-free speculations and tea-leaf readings about the Democratic primary race and around-the-clock coverage of the sex scandal in New York. On those occasions when the subject of Iraq does come up, it's seldom much more than a sound bite or an off-the-front-page piece in which John McCain equates a Democratic victory with defeat in Iraq. But what is this "victory" McCain and Bush seek, the goal worth pursuing beyond all imaginable future costs in lives and money? The neo-cons initially envisioned a democratic Iraq, an island of peace and freedom in the Middle East, destined to transform the region into a place safe for Exxon/Mobil, friendly to American interests, and less inclined to the medieval religious insanity of the kind that beheads infidels or promotes terrorism. But, to date, the blessings of liberty have not been secured in Iraq, nor is it a place where an American is likely to feel welcome or safe. When George W. Bush visits Iraq, he is forced to sneak in and sneak out of military bases near Baghdad under the tightest possible security in the dead of night. The notion of a U.S. presidential parade that would shower him with the love of grateful Iraqis just ain't gonna happen. In fact if he appeared in public he would likely not survive. On the other hand, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently paid a triumphal visit to Iraq, moving freely about in his neighboring country, a nation he had, as a younger man, made war against. The Iranian leader schmoozed with Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister and Shi'ite leader the U.S. helped install, the two men exchanging pleasantries in Farsi. Ahmadinejad also met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. According to a CNN report, "Ahmadinejad shunned the security measures followed by many other leaders on visits to Baghdad, riding from Baghdad's airport in a civilian-style sedan." One of the unintended consequences of the mission Bush declared accomplished in Iraq on the deck of that ship all those years ago was, apparently, the forging of unity between Iran and Iraq. If there was a "victory" in Iraq, it seems that Iran was that victor. But how the newly-forged bond between Iran and Iraq serves American interests will require a degree of spin unimaginable even to a nation as spin-weary as we've become. Old Man McBush will shortly just fade away in the trash heap of all Shrubber wannabes.