What if the United States were at war during a presidential election -- and none of the candidates wanted to talk about it? Iraq has become the great disappearing issue of the early primary season, and if nothing fundamental changes on the ground there -- a probable result of current policy -- the war may disappear even more completely in the new year.
The reasons for Iraq's political eclipse begin with the unfortunate fact that candidates strive to create feel-good associations, and the war is a certain downer. The film studios could barely get a Middle East movie to break even in the past 12 months ("In the Valley of Elah," anyone?), and the political image makers have apparently taken note.