Credit Where Credit Is Due


So…Obama is going to withdraw the troops from Iraq and end the war. He hasn’t yet provided any details on the timeline (actually he hasn’t provided any details about any of his plans yet, but I digress…), however, reports are circulating that most troops will be withdrawn over the next 18 months with a residual force remaining until December 2011, the deadline under the current agreement with Iraq.

That’s nice. I mean it. The men and women who have spent years and multiple tours of duty fighting to bring freedom and democracy to a people who have known only terror and tyranny have well earned their trip home. Their families have well earned the return of their loved ones.

But let’s be clear about one thing: when this war is brought to its conclusion, it will NOT be because of anything Obama does. The natural course of events will end the war. Events driven by President Bush. You see, the reason Obama is in a position to bring the troops home is because the Iraq government, military and police are increasingly able to stand on their own. And the reason for THAT is because Bush stayed the course. Now, you can debate the reasons he sent troops into Iraq in the first place and you can criticize the initial strategy. Lord knows that’s been the favorite liberal pastime over the last 7 years. The fact remains that once there, failure was not an option and we did not fail. That’s a tough pill for the Democrats to swallow but it’s still the fact. The elected government of Iraq is taking control over running their affairs, their military is becoming more effective in handling insurgents, their police better able to maintain law and order and their people more comfortable with, and trusting in, their new freedom and leadership. A turn of events brought about by Bush staying in Iraq and our military fighting along side and training their counterparts to do the job themselves.

And so the troops are ready to start coming home. But not because of what Obama does. Any action taken by the Obama administration now, is akin to scrubs coming in to run out the clock after the varsity has built up a lead so large it can’t possibly be fucked up. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking anything else and don’t let his usurped claim of victory distract you from the real focus: how he handles Afghanistan and Pakistan. For all our sakes, I hope he does as well as his predecessor ultimately did in Iraq and can claim a genuine victory there.

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