PROGRESS….Yet more on the “political progress” front:

Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, in the Democratic weekly radio address, acknowledged that [George] Bush’s escalation strategy this year had improved security in Iraq. But he said Iraqi political leaders had failed to make “hard choices necessary to bring peace to their country.”

“There is no evidence that the Iraqis will choose to do so in the near future or that we have an ability to force that result,” said Sanchez, an increasingly vocal critic of what he called Bush administration policy failures in Iraq.

Sanchez is — how to say this delicately? — a wee bit compromised as a spokesman for military strategy in Iraq, but at least he’s smart enough to know that political progress is the whole point of our presence there.

You know, what’s really remarkable about the whole political reconciliation thing is that no one is even pretending that we’re making progress on this score. Hell, even Ryan Crocker isn’t very optimistic, and he’s paid to be optimistic. Normally, I’d expect that the usual suspects would be arguing that there’s really more progress than the Defeatocrats are acknowleding, but I can’t think of anyone who’s seriously trying to make that case. Apparently no one thinks that political compromise is anywhere in the near offing.