Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The last full measure of devotion

Since the conclusion of the 2004 election I've been reading and hearing a cavalcade of Democrats and talking heads mouthing complaints that the White House is still "staying the course" with Iraq and stubbornly refuses to make any change in policy with regards to the land of the two rivers. Well after some two years of seeing things go a little rough in and Iraq and a realization that things aren't going as we wished, the Commander-in-Chief has finally stepped up to the plate and is offering a hearty defense and national security policy change that folks have demanded. After the 2006 election in November, we've seen Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld replaced by Robert Gates, the movement of John Negroponte from the Department of National Intelligence to become the new Deputy Secretary of State(with the Iraq portfolio), Ryan Crocker from the Pakistani Ambassadorship to the Iraq post, the appointment of Zalmay Khalilzad to head our delegation at the UN as well as tasking Mike McConnell(A vice-admiral who has 25 years of intelligence experience under his belt) to head the DNI. Aside from these Washington centric posts, President Bush is making a systematic change in his Iraq and regional military command (under the recommendations of DoD chief Gates) by calling General Casey home from Iraq to become the new chief of staff of the Army and replacing him with a counterinsurgency minded David Petraeus as well as moving Admiral William Fallon from Pacific Command to Central Command to take up spot of that is left open due to the retirement of General John Abizaid.

Added to this Licolnian/Trumanesque shake up of his national security/defense shakeup, the President is in the process of putting together an Iraq policy that moves away from the status quo and introduces policies that are bold and designed to bring about success. Even with such important and decisive decisions, we still have politicians rumbling about how President Bush refuses to change course and is flat out wrong on Iraq. Now I know that moving folks around and introducing more troops might not be a golden ticket to a clear victory in the near future but at least the President is doing his job as Commander-in-Chief and is making moves that he clearly sees as being in our best interests in ensuring a secure Iraq and thus making it possible for us to eventually draw down our forces from Iraq in a future date and time.

All I can hope for is that the President lays out a good Iraq policy before the American people tonight and such a policy brings about some good results. While people might deny it, the US has got to hold the gap in Iraq and achieve a lasting victory or we'll see a far darker future with an embolden enemy ready to take us on our shores. So here's praying for a great success in Iraq.

*As a student of history, I feel it's fitting as this pivotal time in our history to remember the following words from Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address:
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

1 comment:

shliknik said...

Bush finally asked for more troops and is trying to 'shake things up' from the status quo, but the Dems are still complaining. This really isn't a surprise though.

Besides the fact that they would complain about anything Bush says, the addition of troops is a little too late, and as I've been saying from the start - SHOULD have been there from the beginning when the US had a majority congress, BUT more important - full support of the US and Iraqi people.

There was the brief window in the beginning when the US could have really made headway, but we didn't do it fast enough. With any war, if things are accomplished fast enough, people's additudes change - a lot of the US has.....a lot of Iraqi have.

Don't get me wrong, more troops could help....but they would have been more effective years ago.