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Success in Iraq bad for Obama

Cutting through all the fog, there are two primary reasons behind Barack Obama's stunning victory over the Clinton machine: authenticity and the war in Iraq.

As amply demonstrated, there is simply no comparison between Obama and Hillary Clinton as far as public speaking is concerned. He is eloquent and natural, talking directly to the folks. She is more stilted and rehearsed, talking at the listener. Sen. Clinton comes across as the typical politician, while Sen. Obama seems like a genuine human being.

He also outflanked her on the Iraq war. In the beginning of the campaign, Obama bolted from the starting gate flashing his anti-war cred. From the jump, he had been against the action. And now he was the guy who would pull the U.S. out of the Iraq swamp.

Clinton was immediately put on the defensive, as she initially supported the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein. Also, her entire outlook on confronting Islamic fascism was far too bullish for far-left America. So the Net roots, as they call themselves, flocked to Obama and provided him with vast amounts of money via the Internet. By the time Hillary rallied Democratic moderates, it was too late.

Now, Obama has achieved the nomination, but his winning primary strategy on Iraq could come back to haunt him in the general election, when the far left becomes rather insignificant. Already, John McCain is painting Obama as a terror appeaser who would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq.

McCain has some heavy ammunition to back up his attack. In May, American casualties were the lowest since the Iraq war began in 2003. In addition, Iraqi oil production is now at its highest level since Saddam fell. Even the liberal Reuters news agency calls the current situation in Iraq a 'dramatic turnabout.'

Of course, you won't hear much about that in the American press, as the liberal media have much invested in a U.S. defeat in Iraq. But there is no question that the war there can now be won. It's not a lock, but it's certainly a possibility.

McCain must make the case that a victory in Iraq, which means the country stabilizes and becomes an ally against Islamic terror and Iran, means a much more secure United States. For the past few weeks, McCain has been spotlighting Iran's villainy, pointing out its support of terror groups like Hezbollah and its outright killing of our forces in Iraq.

Quietly, McCain is setting Obama up for a hard right to the jaw. If the U.S. pulls out of Iraq too quickly, the pressure on Iran immediately lightens and the potential for aggression by the bitterly anti-Jewish and anti-American Mullahs rises dramatically. Does Obama understand that? Does it matter to him? McCain will confront his young challenger with those questions.

Obama's advisers know the Iraq scenario is changing fast. They also understand that the media will ignore the good news for as long as it can. But word will get out and, after years of frustration, Americans could be staring at a success story after all.

Not good news for Obama.

Veteran TV news anchor and author Bill O'Reilly is a host on Fox News. His "Radio Factor" can be heard from 1 to 3 p.m. weekdays on NewsTalk 1300 WIMO-AM.