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Under the command of two Commanders-in-Chiefs, our US Armed Forces have performed brilliantly since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.  The last full combat brigade left Iraq left Wednesday with little of the media coverage that began with “Shock and Awe”, “Baghdad Bob”, and eventually saw Saddam cowering in a spider hole.

When the men and women of Fourth Brigade, Second Infantry Division deployed to Iraq in April 2007 as part of President Bush’s surge, American soldiers were being killed or wounded at a rate of about 750 a month, the country was falling to sectarian mayhem, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had declared that the war was “lost.”

On Wednesday, the “Raiders” became the last combat brigade to leave Iraq, having helped to defeat an insurgency, secure a democracy and uphold the honor of American arms.

The classic lament about the war in Iraq is that it achieved little at a huge cost in American lives, treasure and reputation. That view rests on a kind of amnesia about the nature of Saddam Hussein’s regime, his 12-year defiance of binding U.N. resolutions, the threat he posed to its neighbors, the belief—shared by the Clinton and Bush Administrations and intelligence services world-wide—that he was armed with weapons of mass destruction, the complete corruption of the U.N. sanctions regime designed to contain him, and the fact that he intended to restart his WMD programs once the sanctions had collapsed.

Those were the realities when the coalition marched into Iraq. In supporting the war on the eve of that invasion, we noted that “the law of unintended consequences hasn’t been repealed” and that “toppling Saddam is a long-term undertaking,” while warning that “liberal pundits and politicians are fickle interventionists” who were “apt to run for moral cover” when the going got tough. As they did.

Their opposition might well have led to defeat had not Mr. Bush defied Congress and the recommendations of his own Iraq Study Group in favor of the 2007 surge, which history will likely recall as Mr. Bush’s finest hour. To his credit, President Obama has also delivered on the “responsible withdrawal” he promised in his campaign.

This admirable American effort has now given Iraqis the opportunity to govern themselves democratically. We supported the Iraq invasion primarily for reasons of U.S. national security. But a successful war also held the promise that it could create, in a major Arab state, a model for governance that would result in something better than the secular or religious dictatorships that have so often bred brutality and radicalism—which has increasingly reached our own shores. The fact that Iraq has a functioning judiciary, and that Iraqi voters have rejected their most sectarian parties at the polls, is cause for hope that the country is moving in that direction.

This is true despite the five months of political stalemate that have gripped the country since March’s parliamentary elections resulted in an effective tie between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his principal challenger Ayad Allawi. Political gridlock is frustrating, but it is sometimes a function of democratic politics. We will soon learn if Iraqi politicians can meet the responsibilities of the democratic moment that American and British blood and treasure have given them.

They will have to do so despite the continuing spoiler role played by Iraq’s neighbors—Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran—who fear a democratic, or Shiite-led, state in their midst. The withdrawal of U.S. combat forces will only increase their ambition to create more trouble.

That makes the mission of the 50,000 U.S. troops that will remain as trainers, advisers and special-ops forces until the end of 2011 all the more crucial. It should also provide incentive for Washington and Baghdad to negotiate a more permanent U.S. military presence, both as a balancing force within the country and especially as a hedge against Iran. Having sacrificed so much for Iraq’s freedom, the U.S. should attempt to reap the shared strategic benefits of a longer-term alliance, as we did after World War II with Japan and Germany.

On the eve of war in 2003, we wrote: “About one thing we have no doubt: the courage of the Americans who will fight in our defense.” Along with all of their comrades in arms, the men and women of Fourth Brigade, Second Infantry have fully vindicated that conviction. Somewhere down the road, we trust that August 18, 2010 will be remembered as Victory in Iraq day.

August 18 SHOULD be VICTORY IN IRAQ DAY if for no other reason than to mark then end of the success that our original mission, further supplemented by the brave decision by President Bush to launch the surge in 2007, is complete.  Yes, US forces will remain as advisors for another year.  But “The War” in Iraq is over.

Where are the homecoming parades?  Where is the outpouring of love of nation toward our brave men and women who were thrust out of their lives when this phase of the Global War began on September 11, 2003?

We’ve made mistakes.  We found no WMD that the entire world’s intel apparatus said we would.  As in past wars, America leaves no imperialist governance behind.  We helped formed a democratic state in the Middle East that now must continue to bloom on its own.  We stole no oil.  We will only leave Americans in Iraq at the behest of its people, or where the blood of the brave have fallen into the hot sand and are never to be returned to the homeland.

We should be celebrating this week.  But we are not.  There are many reasons why.  But when you see a uniformed member of our Armed Forces this Summer and Fall — please stop them and thank them for their and and their families sacrifices.  They are our Greatest Generation and will most likely be called on again to defend and protect the United States of America.

BE PROUD AMERICA:  We liberated a nation of 18 million oppressed people from a satanic dictator who hijacked the Muslim faith for his own glory and power.  BE PROUD!

Thank you to President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretarys Rumsfeld & Gates, and General Petreaus.  You won the war as our leaders.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)



  1. What ever happened to that “civil war” that ABC-BS and the rest of the liberal media declared?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 20, 2010 @ 7:05 am - August 20, 2010

  2. What ever happened to that “quagmire” the liberals were squealing, like Ned Beatty, about before our troops even set foot in country?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 20, 2010 @ 7:06 am - August 20, 2010

  3. Will Obama now send in a team of community organizers to establish the first fundamentally transformed socialist Muslim state?

    I pray that the people of Iraq find stability and peace in their quest to live alone among the nations of the world.

    Comment by heliotrope — August 20, 2010 @ 9:03 am - August 20, 2010

  4. Bruce

    An excellent post. However, our enemies don´t see it as we do. Yesterday, on the front page of El Diario Nuevo of Managua, Nicaragua, was published a statement by Evo Morales, saying that the withdrawal of American troops means that it a sign ¨of surrender and defeat.¨He hopes that the U.S has learned it´s lesson and will no longer militarily interfer other nations problems.

    Comment by Roberto — August 20, 2010 @ 9:20 am - August 20, 2010

  5. Last night on the Colbert Report, The monologue was about the withdraw. Steven Colbert rips Obama badly for his total lack of enthusiasm at this moment.—what-if-you-threw-a-peace-and-nobody-came-

    Comment by Stone K — August 20, 2010 @ 10:06 am - August 20, 2010

  6. “BE PROUD AMERICA: We liberated a nation of 18 million oppressed people from a satanic dictator who hijacked the Muslim faith for his own glory and power. BE PROUD!”


    Comment by Charles — August 20, 2010 @ 10:11 am - August 20, 2010

  7. Thank you U.S. military and President Bush, for the American victory. Thank you President Obama for minimizing the impact, in Iraq at least, of your general fecklessness.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 20, 2010 @ 11:04 am - August 20, 2010

  8. We now tell the people of Iraq what Franklin and the other Founders told us. “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 20, 2010 @ 11:05 am - August 20, 2010

  9. Looks like Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink, etc. are out of a job.

    Comment by Jim Michaud — August 20, 2010 @ 11:32 am - August 20, 2010

  10. Thank you American troops.

    Comment by Leah — August 20, 2010 @ 11:57 am - August 20, 2010

  11. But the sad thing is that even though millions were liberated, pundits will say it was because of oil…

    Comment by Nick — August 20, 2010 @ 12:34 pm - August 20, 2010

  12. Thank you American soldiers.

    Comment by Totakikay — August 20, 2010 @ 3:15 pm - August 20, 2010

  13. No, I don’t believe we did. We spent billions of dollars we didn’t have; we lost over 4,000 young Americans and several hundred thousands Iraqi’s are either dead or displaced; Iraq is not really any more secure today than it was in 2003. We didn’t win; we still have over 50k troops on the ground there and they will probably be there for decades, just like they are in Japan and Germany and Korea today. You and I pay for that through a lower quality of life here at home, fewer jobs, recessions, deflation of the value of our homes, and nutjobs all over the radio and tv and in political circles. America is becoming a oligarchy with a very select upper ruling class, a narrow small middle class, and an extremely large poor class and destitute working class, thanks to conservative economic policies and wars of choice. No we lost.

    Comment by steve — August 20, 2010 @ 5:45 pm - August 20, 2010

  14. #11 And liberals will still ignore the warnings, of the folks they voted for, long before Bush even got elected.

    How they can still, with a straight face, call Bush a “warmonger” after BJ deployed the military 44 times is beyond my comprehension.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 20, 2010 @ 6:01 pm - August 20, 2010

  15. You and I pay for that through a lower quality of life here at home, fewer jobs, recessions, deflation of the value of our homes, and nutjobs all over the radio and tv and in political circles.

    And even if those things were correct, we still liberated eighteen million people from the clutches of a genocidal, homicidal dictator who had already tortured, maimed, imprisoned, and killed over one million of them, had destroyed entire swaths of ecosystem and poisoned the environment to do so, and was taking food out of childrens’ mouths so that he and his tiny oligarchy could live in opulence while millions starved.

    The entertaining part, steve, is that Saddam Hussein was fully as bad as you and your fellow leftists paint Bush to be. But for some reason, you don’t care about that, which demonstrates that your whining is nothing more than blatant, racist hypocrisy.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 20, 2010 @ 8:30 pm - August 20, 2010

  16. #13: Wow Steve. That’s a whole lot of stupid packed into one post.

    Comment by AF_Vet — August 20, 2010 @ 11:38 pm - August 20, 2010

  17. interesting. On Sept 11, should we celebrate the 9th anniversary of Bush, Cheney, Rice, etc, spending nearly 8 months ignoring mounting evidence that Bin-Laden/Al-Queda would attack the United States?

    Comment by Kevin — August 21, 2010 @ 1:50 am - August 21, 2010

  18. where is this 18 million figure coming from? the UNs figures for 2003 say that iraq had 25 million people in it…

    Comment by monty — August 21, 2010 @ 3:25 am - August 21, 2010

  19. There was nothing honorable about an ILLEGAL invasion and occupation of a country which never attacked us! Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Rove, and Perle are WAR CRIMINALS!

    Over 150,000 people were killed in this STUPID war, you moron!

    Comment by steve — August 21, 2010 @ 10:24 am - August 21, 2010

  20. Paging King Pyhrrhus of Epirus, there’s a victory on the line.

    Comment by Boris Badunov — August 21, 2010 @ 12:07 pm - August 21, 2010

  21. There is nothing more moronic than making comments with blinders on. Bush, Cheney, et. al were acting on the same intelligence given Clinton, Gore et. al. Ipso facto they should be included in the list of War Criminals. When the invasion began dozens of tractor trailers departed for Syria, carrying the WMD´s

    The maladies we are experiencing which steve eludes to are not from conservative policies but by the bad economics of a liberal left. War was once big business. How do you think FDR got the U.S. out of the Great Depression, not by the New Deal, but by WWII, (the big one)

    Comment by Roberto — August 21, 2010 @ 12:45 pm - August 21, 2010

  22. #17: Really kevin? I’ve been in the Intelligence business since 1992. Would really like to know your source.

    And please be specific. For your post to have any credibility, you will need to point out how said intelligence was actionable by the Bush administration, but somehow was NOT actionable by Clinton’s team for the previous several years.

    Comment by AF_Vet — August 21, 2010 @ 4:30 pm - August 21, 2010

  23. #19: By “Illegal”, steve, you do of course mean “legal” and “Approved by congress”, oui?

    And please, DO point out exactly which crimes Bush and his adminstration are guilty of?

    Feel free to cite the specific US Code.

    Comment by AF_Vet — August 21, 2010 @ 4:32 pm - August 21, 2010

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