Today President Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office to formally announce the end of combat operations in Iraq. All day long Republicans on TV and in the papers were on the war path urging the President to give former President Bush credit for implementing the surge which led to a more stable Iraq. Well let’s give credit where credit is due. Let’s give Bush and the Neo-Cons credit for lying to the American People and the World when they told us the Iraq had WMD’s that threatened the World’s security. Let’s give them credit for underestimating what it would take to occupy a post war Iraq. Let’s give them credit for being wrong when they said “the war would pay for itself,” that “we would be greeted as liberators” and that this would be a “slam dunk.”
The GOP is out of touch. Sure the surge worked I will acknowledge that, but Bush knew we needed more troops before we even went in, his generals told him so, he didn’t listen to them. He bit off more then we could chew and didn’t want anyone but the brave man and women in uniform (and their families) to feel the pain of war. There was no draft, no great call for the citizens of our nation to sacrifice in a time of war. In fact we got a tax cut and were told to shop. Meanwhile our finest young men and women faced shortages of body armor and multiple tours in a war zone where it was hard to tell friends from enemies. Our soldiers are the only ones who deserve credit. They deserve that, a GI bill and for a VA that will expertly treat the wounds they brought home whether they be physical or psychological.
We didn’t get this right after Vietnam. Many Vets found themselves homeless and unable to make the adjustment to life at home. Still more suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that in some cases stayed dormant for years. And the public didn’t welcome them home the way they should. It’s comforting that even those who opposed the war support and honor our troops. Thank them and give them the credit. They deserve it.
Chris, the reason we didn't send in more troops in 2003 is because we launched the invasion from a very small area in Kuwait that was very vulnerable to a chemical weapons attack, which would have been devastating if successful. Saudi Arabia and Turkey wouldn't let us send troops from their countries, so there was only one door.
Furthermore, to say Bush "knew we needed more troops before we even went in" is silly. How can anyone know the future? There was widespread disagreement about how many troops to send. Many, to this day, think we sent TOO MANY. They argue if we had a lighter footprint and kept the Iraqi Army intact, things would have been much better.
There is no certainty on this issue except among Democratic strategists.