This is one of those posts where I feel a need to cut through the bullshit out there and call out both sides when it comes to Iraq.
Yesterday President Obama marked the actual end of the Iraq War. There was no aircraft carrier landing or "mission accomplished" banner. Instead it was done in a very dignified way. Sadly though the troops aren't coming home to the type of celebration and parades that this country experienced in August of 1945 during VJ Day. Instead they will just come home, be greeted by loved ones and then get to enjoy a horrible economy.
That welcoming home of our troops should come as no shock. The most Americans had to sacrifice for Iraq was either fighting in the war or having a loved one fight the war. During the war Americans saw their taxes go down at the cost of things like protective gear for our soldiers. Republicans kept pushing for lower taxes as well - something that never happened during war time in our countries history. It's no wonder Bush had to keep raising the national debt level.
But I don't want to focus on that. Instead I want to talk about what brought us to the end.
This week both Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz have been on the television blasting President Obama as having lost the war because of this pull out. Either recent history or a need for the facts have escaped both as they fail to mention the December 2011 pull out date was actually set by President Bush. You think that Bush's vice-President would be aware of such a fact, but we live in a time where the attempted zinger against the other party trumps the truth.
Then there is something on the left that has been happening. They are commending President Obama for holding true to his campaign promise, but did he really? The withdrawal was announced only after the administration failed to convince the Iraqi people to let us keep our troops there. In other words, President Obama was lobbying the Iraqi people to actually keep the war going.
Even after Obama announced that the troops would be coming home this month, there was still a push to keep some of our troops in Iraq. In September of this year we found out that a hard push was on by the administration to keep at least 10,000 troops in Iraq through 2012.
The denial of these facts from many on the left has sat very badly with me. I do give President Obama credit for being able to get the troops out this month, as I know if it was a President McCain then there would be some excuse to keep us in the country well into 2012 and beyond. But to act like President Obama willingly pulled the troops out is a falsehood that can not go without scrutiny.
I'm sure this post will generate an attack from many on the left and to them I say "bring it on" (in my George Bush voice). These are the facts of what happened and we live in a time where spin, lies and misrepresentation of the facts trumps everything else. I have never been a lock step Democrat or Republican. Instead I consider myself a left leaning person who has a lust for the facts. These are the facts of what got us here and ignoring them will only contribute to the possibility of future wars based upon falsified facts and an urge driven by vendetta.
Congratulations to all the troops coming home. You were asked to do a job many in this country would run from, including those who sent you there. An attempt was made to injure your image by some rogue people in uniform and a civilian command structure that had other motives and a total lack of respect for the rules and laws of the battlefield. You deserve all the credit in the world for what you have been asked to do and sacrifice for, regardless of the reason we went to war in the first place. The American people owe it to you to keep the facts straight about all of this so that we can hopefully ward off any future of repeating this mistake. Those mistakes started at inception and continued on to the end. They are not the mistakes of our actual soldiers, but of war hungry civilians - many of which who never even had the courage to serve.