The defeatists have finally acknowledged that Iraq is well on its way to establishing a peaceful democracy. But that recognition comes with a catch: The public is asked to forget everything these strategically benighted cads said and did—or didn't do.

We are referring, of course, to Vice President Joe Biden's recent comments on CNN. "This could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government," he said in an interview with Larry King.

Less than three years after Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) declared the war lost, less than three years after then-Sen. Barack Obama—with the usual fierce moral urgency—opposed the Bush administration's military surge, and within three years of Mr. Biden's own recommendation that Iraq be divided into three parts, these Democrats are laying claim to Iraq's extraordinary victory.

The vice president wisely made his victory assertion in the television studio of a left-leaning network experienced in fudging Iraqi history. CNN, by its own admission, muted coverage of Saddam Hussein for over a decade.

In the past, American liberals have relied on a sympatico press and leftist academics to obscure or whitewash their grievous historical errors. President George W. Bush, pursuing the global war on terror, encountered the same personal slander Ronald Reagan faced as he fought and won the last major political battles of the Cold War. Both were branded "cowboys" and "warmongers." Now, Reagan's victorious Cold War legacy is claimed by all Americans.

Honest historians will eventually discover signs of victory in Iraq during the worst moments of media-driven doubt. But some of us refused to be swept up in the faddish pessimism and reported what was actually happening on the ground.

In a piece from June 2005, one of us, Austin Bay, wrote that "the Baghdad of June 2005 is not the Baghdad I left in September 2004," going on to detail the country's progress. In March 2007, Omar Al-Nidawi and his brother Mohammad wrote in these pages about the stunning victory in Iraq: "the addition of more troops and the tough words of Prime Minister Maliki are doing the job."

The defeatists in the media damned any such success. When President Bush said the surge was working, his critics labeled him out of touch. They charged that front-line observations like those made by the Al-Nidawi brothers were paid propaganda. Three years later, these same individuals are weaving victory laurels for politicians who promoted defeat for their own short-term political advantage.

Mr. Biden, here are the facts. The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which former President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki signed, orchestrated the homecoming of U.S. troops. Mr. Obama didn't do it.

The Bush plan called for a phased transition from "more" coalition security operations to "fewer," based on the demonstrated improvement in the capabilities of Iraq's military and police forces. "Rheostat" warfare is the term Gen. David Petraeus used in 2007, after the device that varies the strength of electrical currents. Securing and extending the authority of Iraq's national government was an integral part of the process. Mr. Biden pushed his partition plan and relentlessly opposed the tough decisions and heroic efforts that created the conditions for SOFA.

Victory has a thousand fathers and Mr. Biden is but one of the many phonies. Historians may credit the Obama administration with a degree of reluctant follow-through on SOFA. But even this is a change from Mr. Obama's own 2008 cut-and-run campaign platform, which, if implemented, would have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Mr. Nidawi is an Iraqi commentator and political analyst. He blogs at Mr. Bay served with the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2004. His latest book is "A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: 4th Edition" (Paladin Press, 2008).