President Obama Announces End of Operation Iraqi Freedom
A short time ago, in an address from the Oval Office, President Obama announced the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom. To be honest up front, I didn’t listen to the whole speech, and don’t care to. Reviews I am seeing and hearing range from “Meh,” to “bad.”
This isn’t about the speech, though.
In 2003, President Bush ordered troops into Iraq with the goal of removing Saddam Hussein from power. This goal was accomplished very quickly. Then, the hard work began.
You can count me as a full-on supporter of the mission in Iraq. Hussein was a monster, and needed to be removed. He had a history of development and use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, demonstrated by the use of gas on the Kurds in the north. So I don’t want to hear anyone bitch and fuss about “Bush Lied” about WMD. Saddam made his choice, he played his hand, and he lost. He could have remained in power with his plush palaces and other trappings of royalty had he been honest and come totally clean to the UN Weapons Inspectors. But he close to lie, hide, and dodge the truth.
Were there any weapons? I do not know. I suspect, however, there may have been some development programs, some crude leftovers, but the sanctions likely at least slowed down the widespread adaptation. If there were any left, though, I really wonder where they went? Lots of stories floating out there about truck convoys rolling towards Syria as we rolled up from Kuwait. Just saying.
He also had the chance to live. The ultimatum President Bush gave him said he had the chance to leave the country. He chose to still hang on to his bluff, somehow thinking that he could stand up the United States military. So if anyone wants to complain about “lies” in the lead up to the opening of hostilities, you can put those solely on Hussein’s shoulders.
We spent a lot of time, money, and lives during our time in Iraq. And for what it’s worth, regardless of what the Imperious Doofus told us tonight, we will spend more of everything before its over. There are still radical elements left who wish to murder and bomb their way to the top.
This was was coming, eventually, no matter what. The Iraqis must step up, protect themselves, and build themselves a nation. They must dig deep, set their sights high, and follow through. There are Iraqi patriots, and I wish them nothing but the best and success of their goals.
There were many things that could have gone much better in our time there. Totally disbanding the military was probably one of the biggest mistakes made, although I could see the thinking; no one really knew just how entrenched through the ranks the Ba’ath party was.
We went in, accomplished the main goal in very short order, and settled into almost a complacency. When the “surge” was being talked about, it had already become a nuclear political football. But in the end, it appears to have been the antidote to finally buy enough breathing room and take out enough terrorists to allow the Iraqis to get themselves together and step up.
Could things have gone much better? Of course. Hindsight is always better, however. We should learn from not only what we may have done wrong in that theater, but also learn from what we did right. And to be totally honest, I believe we have done a good thing, with the best intentions, for the long-term goal of creating as free a world as possible, where people are allowed to live their lives without threat of death for simple political views.
And let’s not forget one major thing: This “end of combat operations” thing? This was a segment of the Status of Forces agreement with Iraq negotiated more than two years ago. By President Bush.