Capping off a whirlwind trip across the Atlantic to bash Dubya and American history in general on foreign soil, President Obama’s done something crazy and acknowledged that Iraq exists as something other than a punch line to be accompanied by a smirk.
“Under enormous strain and under enormous sacrifice, through controversy and difficulty and politics, you’ve kept your eyes focused on just doing your job,” he said.
Politics — like candidate Obama wearing his opposition to the war as a badge of honor among the leftist groups he actively courted throughout the campaign. Politics like President Obama’s ongoing references to the Iraq war as a mistake and a distraction that he’ll rescue our poor soldiers from as soon as possible. Although this visit certainly strikes me as “a good thing,” I’d like to see the President accept Iraq as his responsibility more than grudgingly. I also wish he’d admit that maybe what our armed forces have accomplished has been worth the losses they’ve incurred.
“And because of that, every mission that’s been assigned, from getting rid of Saddam, to reducing violence, to stabilising the country, to facilitating elections, you have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country.”
I think this is as close as we’ll get to an admission from President Obama that America has done good things in Iraq, although he’s supported none of them.