It appears that La Surge has fulfilled its function, which was always to self-necessitate (how's that for a coinage?) the ongoing and unending occupation of Iraq. The fractal logic is really quite beautiful if you back away from the sharp edges and look at the whole flower: In the absence of an escalation, the conditions of diminished violence that would make political reconciliation possible could not have been achieved; therefore the surge was necessary; and, although the presence of such conditions did not in fact lead to political reconciliation, it will nevertheless be necessary to maintain commensurate conditions through commensurable troop levels in order that political reconciliation might at some point obtain; ergo proctor dalmation res invictus, the test of any candidate's committment to ending the war and occupation is her committment to extending them. There are clear intellectual antecedents to such thinking. It is Samuel Beckett filtered through Yogi Berra. When you come to a fork in the road, take it!