Monday, December 19, 2011
The Iraq War is over. The last convoy of American troops has crossed the borders into Kuwait. And Barack Obama has already turned it into a campaign ad - a video called "A Promise Kept" which is not about the promise of freedom nor America's promise to the people of Iraq, but about Barack Obama keeping his campaign promise to pull the troops out, no matter what his generals said.
It is perhaps the most sneering and self-serving way for the president to end an American war imaginable. A war which Barack Obama called the "dumb war," the "rash war," and "the war of choice, not necessity."
You'd think that a war described as pointless by America's commander-in-chief would therefore be easy to wrap up. But the ever self-aggrandizing Obama chose to take to his presidential podium and declare that "It is harder to end a war than to begin one," neatly praising his own magnificence while taking yet another potshot at President Bush.
But does Obama's troop withdrawal really amount to "Mission Accomplished" if the mission is anything other than his re-election? Senator John McCain certainly doesn't think so, saying "It is clear that this decision was dictated by politics, and not our national security interests. I believe history will judge this president’s leadership with the scorn and disdain it deserves.”
History, however, will never doubt the integrity, honor, and sacrifices made by America's troops and their families over the course of this nine-year war. Over 1.5 million fought... more than 32,000 were wounded... and over 4,500 killed. There are no words sufficient to express our gratitude, nor our sorrow for their losses.
Whether those losses were in vain will be determined in the very near future as we find out whether Barack Obama's "Promise Kept" was to the Iraqi people, our nation's military, or only to Democratic voters who have been losing enthusiasm for their ineffectual president.
In the meanwhile, perhaps Mr. Obama's re-election team would like to raid their 2008 video vaults to make more "Promise Kept" commercials - showing how well the president has fulfilled his campaign promises to lower unemployment, balance the budget, end earmarks, bring peace to the Middle East, close Guantanamo, end partisanship in Washington, create a post-racial society, have the most transparent administration in history, and cause our planet's rising oceans to recede.
All of which were dumb promises. Rash promises. Promises of choice...and not reality.