Monday, March 8, 2010

Vindication Emerges

Given its vast goals, it may be years before we know whether our military campaign in Iraq results in ultimate success or ultimate failure. But since the surge, the writing which has appeared on the proverbial wall suggests that liberals -- not George W. Bush -- are the ones whose assessments have been wrong.

From the moment the Iraq campaign was hinted at, an overwhelming majority of liberals opposed it, and many of them did so with a stridence that bordered on anti-America hostility. As the clock continued to tick, their stridence frequently crossed the line and became actual anti-America hostility, and later, when the surge was announced, just about every liberal on the planet derided it.

However, the surge succeeded so spectacularly that no one could plausibly claim otherwise, and in its wake many on the left opted to stay mum. Others did manage to admit (grudgingly) that it was a success -- but you might not have noticed, because they immediately shifted gears by offering up loud soliloquies proclaiming that its success would be fleeting and that the overall campaign was doomed to fail.

But in the meantime, American troops have begun to peaceably withdraw, and despite their departure, levels of sectarian violence in Iraq have remained well below pre-surge levels. This week Iraq held a national election (which was not its first since Saddam was toppled) and voter participation exceeded 50 percent despite worries that violence would be ramped up to scare people away from the polls.

In other words, Iraq has become the Muslim World’s first functioning democracy -- which was one of Bush’s explicit and primary goals for the campaign.

It is worth noting how Barack Obama has behaved when it comes to Iraq. Back when he was a U.S. Senator he referred to the campaign as “dumb,” and he said this about the surge: “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence. In fact, I think it will do the reverse. Then, after the surge succeeded, Senator Obama tried to justify his earlier stance by saying “the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated.” (emphases mine)

Later, as president, he rhapsodized about how “we have brought our troops home” while failing to acknowledge that the withdrawal dates were scheduled by Bush in the Status of Forces Agreement. Talk about lying by omission to get credit for something you had nothing to do with!

This paints a picture of our president that is, to put it politely, not flattering. He starts by trotting out the tired tactic of avoiding debate by simply calling Republican ideas “dumb” -- which makes him look like a petulant child. And when his forecast for how the surge would end is proved wrong (which would be understandable as an honest mistake) he responds by claiming that “nobody” held an opposing view, despite the fact that many of his opponents did hold one. And finally, he tries to appropriate the credit for work that was done by an opponent he has spent years demeaning.

Like I said earlier, the ultimate outcome of our involvement in Iraq will not be known for some time. There are sound reasons both to agree and disagree with Bush’s strategy, and rehashing them is a topic for another post. But it is definitely worth noting that as the facts come in, they are making it look like the oft-belittled Bush will be vindicated by history -- and that they are making it look like the naysayers of the left will, as in so many other instances, be proved wrong.


Anonymous said...

John, I really enjoy reading your blog posts.


Anonymous said...

I'll reserve my comments for when you write the post, why Bush was right to invade Iraq.