Obama Avoids the “V” Work in Iraq
I don’t have too much to say about the State of the Union Address, except for one question: has there ever been a military victory that has been so diminished in our nation’s history?
As we take the fight to al Qaeda, we are responsibly leaving Iraq to its people. As a candidate, I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as President. We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August. We will support the Iraqi government — we will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and we will continue to partner with the Iraqi people to promote regional peace and prosperity. But make no mistake: This war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home.
That’s all that victory in Iraq warrants in President Obama’s SOTU. Well, like most Americans, I’m glad it’s ending. But why is it ending? Could we call it a “victory”? Is that too much to ask? I know the President is familiar with the term–he used the word elsewhere in his speech (albeit, only twice).
But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run, and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt.
I didn’t choose to tackle this issue to get some legislative victory under my belt.
Apparently, victory is something that used to happen or that can happen in politics. Just not when it comes to Iraq. Yes, the President expressed our thanks to the troops:
Tonight, all of our men and women in uniform — in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and around the world — they have to know that we — that they have our respect, our gratitude, our full support. And just as they must have the resources they need in war, we all have a responsibility to support them when they come home.
But how about commending them for victory? Despite the stumbles and bumbles, which then-candidate Obama used to his political advantage during his Presidential campaign, our soldiers and sailors and marines and airmen saw it through to victory. They’d appreciate hearing that from their President, I’m sure. But I fear our President is wary of pronouncing a victory in Iraq because that could imply that he was wrong. And we can’t have that, can we?