The congressional victories by the Democratic Party Tuesday were greeted with joy by many people that I encountered in the last few days. Even more cause for rejoicing was the news that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tendered his resignation.
The fact remains, however, that some 133,000 US troops are still hunkered down in Iraq, and that a new lineup of legislators and a new Defense chief will have little - if any - short-term effect on the violence in that turbulent region.
My enthusiastic acquaintances must be seeing me as a bit of a sourpuss as I point out these facts.
I have also been skeptical of what I perceive to be the motives behind the sacking of Rumsfeld (I do not buy for a moment the idea that Rummy unilaterally handed in his resignation). I see this move as an attempt to defuse the anger of the American electorate by handing over the head of the detested Secretary.
I hope that I am wrong, and that the President is sincere about a new direction in Iraq, but my suspicion is that this act is little more than window dressing.
I will be more inclined to believe that change is in the offing when our troops begin to come home.
And not in body bags, that is.