Wednesday, August 18, 2010
It's Over (Sorta)
At this hour, President Barack Obama and the White House are announcing that American combat forces are on their way out of Iraq. 50,000 American troops will still be in Iraq (because we just can't get out of anywhere we go), but the mission will be training and support. There will be no more combat operations. It took Barack Obama to end George W. Bush's War in Iraq. Yet, there is no "Mission Accomplished" from President Obama tonight.
Tonight, this fulfills a campaign promise by President Obama, and it also signals a 100 percent shift in the War on Terror officially from Iraq to Afghanistan where U.S. public support and the mission continue to become more and more hard to find.
I can tonight only hope for the same thing in Afghanistan, soon. If objectives cannot be reached, we need to end the conflict and change strategy. General David Petraeus is the right man for the job over there, and I will finally be able to exhale for all my friends and former students fighting there when that conflict ends.
When that happens, you may even see the kind of euphoria demonstrated in that iconic picture above from Times Square on V-J Day just a little over 65 years ago. Let's come home safely from Afghanistan before we begin that full celebration.
My thoughts and prayers remain with all those troops lost in U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those left behind to deal with a shattered family life. I also want to say a special hello to those friends and former students that are still fighting for our country today. Keep fighting hard!