Where are the people mobbing the streets of New York, Chicago and San Francisco?
Where is the jubilant and soon-to-be-quoted-throughout-history Presidential address, praising the commitment, resolve and bravery of the people of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and the sacrifices made by her sons and daughters in defeating tyranny?
Why are we not celebrating the establishment of the first democratic republic in the Middle East and the enfranchisement of millions of Iraqis? Why are we not toasting the fact that for the first time since the fall of the Shah, the US will have a peaceful, secular and soon-to-be productive ally in the region and the first real check on the power of Iran?
A good many conservatives and military strategists believe that setting the arbitrary date of August 31, 2010 for the full withdrawal of all combat troops was penny-wise but pound-foolish; that it gave the enemy a date that it simply needed to wait out. Accordingly, a lot of very smart and very highly regarded analysts think we might be back sooner rather than later. But for now, combat operations have ended and aside from several high-profile incidents, the country is more stable now than it has been at any time since the 2003 invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein. It’s too early to say whether those analyses are correct or mistaken.
Could the reason for the silence marking today’s milestone be that the ruling class elite currently running this country regards the victory over evil in Iraq as a victory that history will credit to George W. Bush? The man and administration that liberals have blamed for everything from sunspots to the failure of a trillion dollar boondoggle stimulus plan formulated a “surge” strategy that, along with a new set counterinsurgency tactics, finally subdued Al Qaeda in Iraq and turned the war from a quagmire into a historical victory. But that warfighting policy was fought tooth and nail by the very people pulling the levers of power today. To acknowledge the success of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in the Iraq War would be to acknowledge that all the vitriolic and hate-filled criticism of Bush and his war strategy was absolutely wrong. To celebrate victory today is to celebrate the success of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Robert Gates and David Petraeus. Acknowledging success today means acknowledging that the 2007 surge worked, something that liberal progressives are genetically incapable of doing. The Democrats successfully politicized the war effort in Iraq, shamelessly using the danger of the situation to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt among the American people and in so doing, poisoned the well of pride.
We should be holding ticker tape parades through the streets. The returning soldiers and Marines should be treated as bona fide American heroes—a new greatest generation that took the fight to the lands of the people who plotted our downfall and attacked us nine years ago. This should be declared a national holiday. The POTUS should address the American people on prime time television, simulcast on radio and the web, praising the American resolve, celebrating the defeat over evil and the superiority of American military power. But he’s not going to do that.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a historic event in itself.
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