Thank You President Bush

Thank You President Bush

© David Burton 2010

Thank You to our Troops

     Today, August 31, 2010, President Barack Obama announced the end of American combat operations in Iraq. Some 50,000 American troops will still remain in Iraq to support the fledgling Iraqi military in maintaining order and combating sectarian violence and Al Qaeda attempts to destabilize the country. This is down from “the 170,000 at the height of the so-called troop surge {strategy proposed by General Petraeus and authorized by President Bush}, which helped secure a measure of security in the country.” America is scheduled to remove its remaining troops from Iraq “by the end of 2011 under the Status of Forces agreement signed during the Bush administration.” (Ref. 1) Thank you president Bush and thank you, General David Patraeus for having the wisdom and perseverance to come up with and institute the surge strategy that reversed the fortunes of war in Iraq.

     We should all remember that this day has arrived because President George Bush refused to surrender to liberal Democrats who clamored for abandonment of the Iraq war, time-certain troop reductions and immediate troop withdrawals. Back in 2005, when the going in Iraq was tough, “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told colleagues at a closed meeting … that she … would advocate an immediate troop withdrawal {from Iraq}” All the while, “the {Democratic} party's liberal base {was} clamoring for the United States to leave Iraq as soon as possible.” (Ref. 2)

     We should also remember that in a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy on November 30, 2005, President Bush did not deny the difficulties that faced the nation nor did he predict an early end to the war. Continuing the warnings given early on by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, President Bush told the country that the war on terror would take many turns in the years ahead. In words reminiscent of Winston Churchill’s World War II exhortations to the British people, President Bush said: “If we were not fighting and destroying this enemy in Iraq, {the Islamic fascists} would not be idle. They would be plotting and killing Americans across the world and within our own borders. By fighting these terrorists in Iraq, Americans in uniform are defeating a direct threat to the American people. Against this adversary, there is only one effective response: We will never back down. We will never give in. And we will never accept anything less than complete victory.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 3)

     President Obama was able to announce the end of American combat operations in Iraq because of four factors: 1) President George W. Bush’s refusal to cut-and-run when the going got tough; 2) General David Petraeus’ surge strategy for defeating the insurgents in Iraq; 3) the dedication, professionalism and sacrifices of the men and women in America’s military; and 4) President Obama’s decision to continue the strategy developed by General David Petraeus and authorized by President Bush. President Obama’s decision was reached in spite of the defeatist attitudes of the liberal-left wing of his Democratic party that wanted to cut-and- run once the going got tough.

     Let’s not forget that prior to the 2008 elections it was the Democratic party and the ‘Demoliberals’, including then Senator Barrack Obama, who were clamoring for President Bush to withdraw all American troops from Iraq and to leave that country to the tender mercies of Al Qaeda and other fanatical Islamic fundamentalists. At the end of 2005, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry called for returning 20,000 troops home after the December 2005 Iraqi elections {and before Christmas} and he stated that the United States needed to reduce its forces in Iraq by “at least 100,000” by the end of 2006. How things change when the shoe is on the other foot or when a Republican president is replaced by a Democratic president! (Ref. 4)

     Back in 2005, it was Democratic Senator, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who made a speech calling for the U.S. to get out of Iraq the same way we retreated from Vietnam. The Vermont senator announced that the U.S. could not win in Iraq and called for President Bush to tell just when the U.S. troops would leave Iraq.

     For left-wing Demoliberals, Vietnam was a triumph. “Forcing the mighty U.S. military to run away was the greatest victory they have ever known.” Back in 2005, Senator Leahy and his likeminded cohorts thought that they “could smell another Vietnam.” (Ref. 5)

     In 2005, Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator John Kerry and other Democratic Liberals were calling for a "timetable for withdrawal from Iraq" or for returning 20,000 troops home for Christmas in 2005.

     President Bush and other members of the administration made clear what our strategy in Iraq would be – staying the course until victory was achieved. Still, the liberal Democrats persisted. “Nothing, it seems, {could} stop the Democratic whining over Iraq - not position papers, not speeches clarifying this nation’s goals as never before. Not even the facts on the ground as outlined … by President Bush.” Politics, it seems, was more important to the Democrats than the common good of the nation. “There was a time when people of good will of all parties stood together in the face of a common foreign enemy. There was a time when only a fool or a knave would seek partisan advantage when this nation’s men and women in uniform {were} in harm’s way. Well these days are gone.” (Ref. 6)

     The Demoliberal opposition led by the ilk of Kennedy, Kerry, Dean, Pelosi and Reid were so blinded by their hatred of George Bush and the Republican version of conservatism, that they prayed for America’s defeat in Iraq. Their fingers simply twitched with the urge to point at the President and to be able to say “See, I told you so.”

     Following the Iraqi elections in 2005, the late Democratic senior Senator from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, continually demanded a time-certain plan for troop withdrawal from Iraq. (Ref. 7)

     Remember that the records show that Democrats originally “outdid themselves in calling for an invasion of Iraq.” Just “go back and read any of the statements of John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, or Jay Rockefeller about the dangers of Saddam Hussein and the need to take him out. Only then can you understand why the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly, with a strong Democratic majority, to authorize war. This meant that the Democrats had an embarrassing paper trail that … made it hard to claim that the war was Bush’s alone and not their own.” But, this they did, until Barack Obama became president and had to face up to his responsibilities as Commander in Chief of the United States. President Obama wisely followed the path laid out by President Bush and General Petraeus. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party has had to swallow hard and go along with their Democratic leader."
     Let us also not forget that back in 2007, while “Campaigning {for the presidency} in New Hampshire, Democrat Barack Obama said the nation's choices in Iraq {were} limited to bad and worse options.
     “Obama told the crowd of more than 500 people that nobody {wanted} to get U.S. troops out of Iraq more than he {did}, but doing so {would} require voters to pressure Senate Republicans, including New Hampshire Senators Judd Gregg and John Sununu, to break with President Bush.
     “Obama {said} there {was} no reason to give the president's troop surge more time. . . . The surge has not worked." (Ref. 8)

     The House Republican leader, Representative John Boehner of Ohio, summed up the more recent events in Iraq as follows. “In January 2007, the situation in Iraq was grim. The evening news was dominated by horrific accounts of indiscriminate violence—torture, kidnapping and killing—that had left millions of innocent civilians desperate and defenseless against a ruthless terrorist enemy.
     “Our men and women in uniform had fought bravely and forcefully for years, but the future remained bleak. Calls for withdrawing our troops were increasing, and the patience of the American people was waning.
     “When President Bush announced the troop surge, it was widely viewed as our last chance to prevent Iraq from spiraling into an irreversible descent towards chaos—an outcome which would have given terrorists a safe haven to plan attacks against the United States and our allies and to directly threaten our national interests in the region.
     “It was our last chance—and the only option—to turn around the security environment."
        - - -
     “Not everyone was convinced, however. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) claimed that the strategy had failed just weeks after it had begun. Her views were echoed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), who declared in April 2007 that “this war is lost.”
        - - -
     “Then-Sen. Barack Obama, who campaigned on his opposition to the Iraq war, flatly declared that the troop surge would not work: “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”
        - - -
     “On August 31, {2010} the U.S. mission in Iraq will shift from a combat role to an advisory mission to support the Iraqi government and its security forces. Our troops have already begun performing these roles in many parts of the country. While the administration continues seeking credit for ‘ending the combat mission’ in Iraq, it is important to remember that this transition was made possible by the very surge that President Obama and Vice President Biden opposed.
     “With all due respect to them, our troops who have served so courageously in Iraq deserve the credit for the success of the surge and, along with the Iraqi people, the turnaround in Iraq.
     “The success of the troop surge is undeniable. By taking the fight to al Qaeda, other terrorist threats, and the insurgency, our men and women in uniform succeeded in providing greater security to the Iraqi population and giving the government the time to build capacity to more effectively meet the needs of the Iraqi people. As a result, the drawdown of U.S. troops that began in 2008 has been able to continue.” (Ref. 9)


  1. Changing the banner, Editorial, Boston Herald, Page 20, 31 August 2010.
  2. Hawkish Democrat Joins Call For Pullout, Charles Babington, The Washington Post, 18 November 2005.
  3. A Mid-War History Lesson: Bush 2005/Churchill 1942, The Jewish Press, Pages 5 and 101, 9 December 2005.
  4. Kerry urges drastic cuts to troops in Iraq by ’07, Associated Press, Boston Herald, Page 24, 9 December 2005.
  5. Desire for Defeat, David Gelernter, from the New York Times as reprinted in Forbes, Page. 36, 2 December 2005.
  6. Bush’s Iraq plan clear and right, Editorial, Boston Herald, Page. 38, 1 December 2005.
  7. What would Dems do?, Boston Herald, Page. 24, February 1, 2005.
  8. Obama: Iraq Troop Surge Isn't Working, Josh Rogers, New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR), 20 July 2007.
  9. Troops Deserve Credit for Iraq Progress, Representative John Boehner (R – Ohio), Human Events;, 27 August 2010 (Accessed 7 September 2010).


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