President Barack Obama on Iraq, last night during his State of the Union Address:
“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 as they hold elections, and 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.”
Was that a loss, win or tie? If someone won, which side, and who and what made victory possible?
America won, our coalition won, and the people of Iraq won. Together, we won by force of arms and staying the course, despite the mistakes made — as they are always made — in the fog of war, growing political opposition at home, and enemy opposition on the battlefield.
More specifically, our troops won with courage beyond description, sacrifice, blood, tears, and honor — always honor.
Yet they did not fight or pay the price alone. Their families, the troops of many nations, and thousands of federal and contracted personnel stood with them, fought along their sides, or supported them near and from afar. And the Iraqi people won because America stood with them through years of chaos, helped them to establish a government, worked with multiple factions despite civil war, and trained an army and police forces that could stand on their own, defend in place, and keep peace on Iraqi streets.
Obama has to date thanked exactly no one.
Last night, he thanked not one U.S. or coalition fallen hero, wounded troop, intelligence agent, government official, family member, ally, or Iraqi. Stunning is too small a word to describe that omission. “This war is ending.” No, Mr. Obama, we ended it with our victory; you are just now the guy in charge of a homecoming victory parade you will never conduct.
Obama did not lead the fight in Iraq, fight there or sacrifice himself, or acknowledge those who led, fought, and sacrificed. Our troops and that leadership were owed at least this President acknowledging another honorable chapter in American history written in blood.
Shame on you President Obama, shame on you.
Update: President Obama needs to be introduced to the American soldier by General Douglas MacArthur:
And what sort of soldiers are those you are to lead? Are they reliable? Are they brave? Are they capable of victory?
Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man at arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world’s noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.
His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy’s breast.