With all the self aggrandizing speeches the guy gives replete with “I,” “me,” “mine,” you’d think he would have talked a bit more about the gains made in Iraq even if they weren’t his accomplishments. Of course there was one mention of President Bush but it wasn’t a mention of his courage to change the strategy of the war. Here’s what the President said of President Bush in tonight’s speech:
Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I have said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it.
I don’t consider the cowards who wanted to cut and run and lied about the war “patriots” on the same plane as President Bush’s courageous decision to win this thing.
This counterinsurgency decision was orchestrated by General Patraeus and approved of by the President at a time when the Democrats were being led by the nose by the moveon.commies and code pinkos. Naked politics caused the Democrats to begin opposing the war right before the 2004 elections and ramp it up again before the 2008 election. It was gutless. Treasonous. The Democrats lied about the war, maliciously accused Marines of murder, Senators Wyden of Oregon and Murray of Washington went along with the Democrats and supported two measures to DE-FUND the troops and cut and run. Even Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon tried to out-left the left on the war and was repaid with defeat at the ballot box.
Considering this was a speech of great import–not to be confused with his usual ‘major’ addresses–President Obama could have camped out more on the successes in this war: Elections that we’ve made possible, the rape rooms gone, the ally we will have in the region full of bad actors and the fact that Hussein (the former Iraqi dictator not the US one) is gone forever. These are real and, yes, in some cases, aspirational in nature. This is what he devoted to that:
The Americans who have served in Iraq completed every mission they were given. They defeated a regime that had terrorized its people. Together with Iraqis and coalition partners who made huge sacrifices of their own, our troops fought block by block to help Iraq seize the chance for a better future. They shifted tactics to protect the Iraqi people; trained Iraqi Security Forces; and took out terrorist leaders. Because of our troops and civilians –and because of the resilience of the Iraqi people – Iraq has the opportunity to embrace a new destiny, even though many challenges remain.
I also believe the President could have given more full throated support to the branches of the military who got the job done. But only one branch of the service got an atta boy and it was only because they were LEAVING the war. He gave the nod to the deserving Fort Lewis 4th Stryker Brigade:
Two weeks ago, America’s final combat brigade in Iraq –the Army’s Fourth Stryker Brigade –journeyed home in the pre-dawn darkness. Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of vehicles made the trip from Baghdad, the last of them passing into Kuwait in the early morning hours. Over seven years before, American troops and coalition partners had fought their way across similar highways, but this time no shots were fired. It was just a convoy of brave Americans, making their way home.