Tonight Obama gave a speech about Iraq. He basically got across that the combat phase has ended and that the Iraqi's need to step up to the plate. I'm with him on these two points.
He also praised our soldiers to a great extent, for which I am glad. And of course, this is what a president must do.
He also strayed a bit, pointing out early on that he was fulfilling his campaign promise to wind the operation down.
Um, no one gives a shit about your campaign promise sir, this isn't about you.
But overall, the speech was a good one. Beautifully written as always, and Obama is a master speaker. If his aim was to inspire Americans, overall, he succeeded.
So well done troops, well done Iraq, well done everyone and God bless us all.
And Columbo turns back at the last second...
Oh, one other thing. Two other things actually.
First of all, he gave zero, and I mean ZERO credit to George W. Bush.
No mention that the surge, which Obama said would fail, actually succeeded.
No mention that the entire drawdown plan, soup to nuts, was and still is entirely GWB's. Obama has literally kept exactly with the Bush blue print presented to him on his first day in office by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Fine. I didn't really expect our president to show grace in this matter. It's academic really, Bush will forever be the Dark Knight - hated, but ultimately 100% right when it came to winning the war and keeping us safe.
Second of all, and FAR more importantly.
He withheld from our troops a real victory by not specifically saying that they have achieved it.
He did praise the US and coalition forces profusely, which I thought was great, and despite my gut instincts, I don't judge his heart - I take him at his word. But he didn't go far enough.
Regardless of how one views the war, the simple fact is that our soldiers succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Iraq is stable, and has a real shot at remaining so. That, to me, is an indisputable victory.
Because as a Senator Obama was against the war, against the surge, and in my view against our soldiers, he now refuses to swallow his pride and do his job as president - give our soldiers the full honor they deserve - calling a victory a victory.
I understand he doesn't want to look like Bush on an aircraft carrier with a big banner of "Mission Accomplished" behind him.
But this isn't really about him, and tonight he failed to see that in spectacular fashion.
Edit: Here is a great little blurb from Hot Air that beautifully encapsulates what I wrote last night. I'm pretty proud that it basically restates (though much more elegantly) what I already came up with.