President Barack Obama delivered the announcement of the end of combat operations in Iraq with all the eloquence of a college professor droning on about the issues related to the War of Jenkin’s Ear in the 18th Century. Wake me up when he’s done.
Besides, the end of combat operations in Iraq has likely not occurred. Leaving aside the secret wet work operations that our special forces will be obliged to carry out, there is every potential for mischief by Al Qaeda or Iran, emboldened by President Obama’s foolish promise to have everyone out by the end of 2011.
It’s bad enough that Obama was trying to channel Richard Nixon’s “peace with honor” rhetoric. It was made worse by the funereal tone in which Obama did it. One can tell that the President’s heart was not in it.
Mind, the President wanted to avoid repeating the triumphant tone of President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech on the aircraft carrier. Say what one will about W., he could summon up some enthusiasm about smiting terrorists hip and thigh. The one problem was that he was about seven years too soon in announcing VI Day.
But after Obama finished, one had to resist the temptation to slit ones wrists or at least get drunk. By his tone, Obama gave the impression that we had lost rather than won the war.
Mind, some of the words were just great. Here is the valor of American troops:
“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.”
There was even a nod to George W. Bush, whose surge strategy, which Obama opposed, won the war.
“As we do, I’m mindful that the Iraq war has been a contentious issue at home. Here, too, it’s time to turn the page. This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one can doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I’ve said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hopes for Iraqis’ future.”
Of course, the words, “He was right and I was wrong” did not and could never pass his lips. That would have been too much for the One.
It didn’t help that Obama meandered a bit into Afghanistan and then into the economy. That reminded the left that he is not bugging out of the former and everyone else that he has bungled the latter.
All in all, yet another speech that the President should not have made.
Source: Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the End of Combat Operations in Iraq, President Barack Obama, The White House, August 31st, 2010