President Obama Is A Man Of His Word – Combat Operations Are Over In Iraq – As Promised!
I went back in the Google archives and found this story from the Guardian about the speech President Obama gave at Fort Lejeune in February of 2009, where he spelled out his plan in Iraq. Last night that promise was fulfilled on schedule and exactly as he laid out. Eat it, critics. Here is a reminder of what was said in that speech, from the Guardian piece…
Obama flew from Washington yesterday morning to Fort Lejeune, North Carolina, to deliver his speech in front of 8,000 marines. He told them it was going to be a speech with far-reaching consequences: “Today, I have come to speak to you about how the war in Iraq will end.”
Of the 142,000 US troops in Iraq, between 92,000 and 107,000 are to leave by August next year. The mission at that point will change, from combat to one that deals primarily with training Iraqi forces, supporting the Iraqi government and engaging in counter-terrorism.
So of course I remember how much skepticism there was from people in the “professional left” or as I like to call them “the Obama-haters”, so I did a little googling to find out what these folks were saying back then. Think how they are talking about Afghanistan now….do you see any similarities and will these assholes admit that they were wrong, yea right…
According to Ricks, military brass and foreign policy officials express deep skepticism toward Obama’s withdrawal timeline and “[m]any of those closest to the situation in Iraq expect a full-blown civil war to break out there in the coming years.”
“The quiet consensus emerging… is that U.S. soldiers will probably be engaged in combat there until at least 2015 – which would put us at about the midpoint of the conflict now.” In a summary of his book, Ricks concludes: “[T]he events for which the Iraq war will be remembered probably haven’t even happened yet.” (Washington Post, 2/15/09)
Here is some more skepticism from back when the president announced his plan, I wonder how many people are listening to these people and their predictions about Afghanistan today?
Iraq’s Parliamentary elections have not yet been scheduled and don’t even have an electoral law, and according to a number of senior Iraqi politicians probably will not be held until March 2010 (not December 2009). That would then give the U.S. about five months to withdraw the bulk of the dozen combat brigades which would reportedly remain. And then, keep in mind that U.S. officials generally agree (correctly) that the most dangerous period of elections is actually in their aftermath, when disgruntled losers might turn to violence or other destabilizing measures. So the following month will likely not seem a good time either. So that would leave four months to move, what — 9 brigades? Did someone say precipitous? Good luck with that.
Some people are just in denial about it, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering there is a lot of that going around amongst the Obama-haters. Here is a piece from the one and only Obama-hater Glenn Greenwald from October of 2009…
Beyond Afghanistan, Obama continues to preside over another war — in Iraq: remember that? — where no meaningful withdrawal has occurred.
Oh, and another from Glenn Greenwald further down in that post, emphasis is mine…
It’s certainly true that Obama inherited, not started, these conflicts. And it’s possible that he could bring about their end, along with an overall change in how America interacts with the world in terms of actions, not just words. If he does that, he would deserve immense credit — perhaps even a Nobel Peace Prize. But he hasn’t done any of that. And it’s at least as possible that he’ll do the opposite: that he’ll continue to escalate the 8-year occupation of Afghanistan, preside over more conflict in Iraq, end up in a dangerous confrontation with Iran, and continue to preserve many of the core Bush/Cheney Terrorism policies that created such a stain on America’s image and character around the world.
Where is the credit for fulfilling his promise to get combat troops out of Iraq? Hmmmmm, nothing on Glenn’s blog about the Iraq withdrawal at all, nada, nothing. Surprised? Not me. While that small but very vocal minority of Obama-haters keep chattering on, our awesome President keeps doing what he said he would do and delivering on his promises. Washington pundits don’t know how to act when someone actually does what they say and doesn’t let the media push them around with poll results. Keep it up, “Prez”, you’re doing an excellent job.