Several days ago, the Prime Minister of Iraq said that he would like to see a timetable of 16 months to begin for the removal of United States troops. The news media is playing this as saying that Senator Barack Hussein Obama was correct and that Maliki is backing Obama.
President Bush has said all along that timetables were not appropriate because it would signal to the enemy that they should sit back and wait for us to leave and then begin anew, their attacks on Iraq.
Things have changed, however. The war is nearly over. Victory has nearly been achieved (although I believe that victory has been achieved). There is very little al queda left in Iraq any longer. Those that haven’t been killed or taken captive, have been fleeing Iraq in droves. Iraq has taken over 10 of the 18 provinces and there is almost no threat of al queda left in Iraq. What is left, the Iraq security forces can take care of with limited support from the American military.
Wasn’t that the goal? Weren’t we supposed to stay there until the Iraqi security forces could control their own country? That’s what we trained them to do.
To call for a timetable now, or time horizons, seems to me to be appropriate. The Bush administration has always said that we’re there as guests of the Iraqi’s and that we’d leave when they said they could take care of themselves. That time seems to have come. This was inevitable. The only ones that seriously thought that they war couldn’t be won were the terrorists, al queda and the liberals. Newsflash: We’ve won!! It hasn’t been announced yet, but we’ve won.
So why would it be wrong to start planning for the withdrawal of American troops? It is easy for Obama to say ‘my time frame and calling for a timetable was correct.’ The dynamics have changed. He called for this timetable as the troop surge was beginning, which he said had no hope of succeeding. Now the surge has proven to be even better than predicted and certainly better than Obama said would happen.
There will likely be some setbacks as we withdraw. The insurgents, terrorists or whomever is still lurking will try a resurgence as we leave, but the point is that the Iraqi’s can now handle their own. There is no civil war. There is no quagmire. This is not Vietnam and never has been.
The United States should declare shortly that the war in Iraq is won and over and troops will begin coming home or being redeployed to Afghanistan. If Obama is going to play the game of “I was right, Bush was wrong” then President Bush should come out on national television and announce that victory has been achieved in Iraq; al queda is on the run and headed to Afghanistan and our troops will be following them into Afghanistan to put an end to the al queda infrastructure.
I welcome your comments.