"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Combat Troops Depart Iraq, In Spite Of Democrat Attempts To Stop The Surge

August 19th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

Reuters reports today, “The U.S. military is on track to cut numbers in Iraq to 50,000 by end August, when the 7-1/2-year combat mission launched by former President George W. Bush ends and operations switch to assisting Iraq’s armed forces.” The Washington Post adds, “The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which left Iraq this week, was the final U.S. combat brigade to be pulled out of the country, fulfilling the Obama administration’s pledge to end the U.S. combat mission by the end of August. About 50,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq, mainly as a training force. ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom ends on your watch!’ exclaimed Col. John Norris, the head of the brigade. . . . ‘They’re leaving as heroes,’ Norris said of his soldiers. ‘I want them to walk home with pride in their hearts.’”

Though much work remains in transforming Iraq, the fact that American combat forces are able to withdraw this week from a much more stable country that is moving forward as a young democracy is a testament to the success of the surge strategy ordered by President George W. Bush in 2007 and implemented by Gens. David Petraeus and Ray Odierno and all the American, coalition, and Iraqi government forces in the country.

However, if Democrats had had their way, the surge would have been abandoned and funding for the troops would have been stripped. After Democrats gained control of Congress in 2007, they forced more than 40 votes to either require troops to withdraw, to micromanage forces instead of letting the generals adapt to conditions on the ground, or to outright condemn the surge strategy. In fact, Senate Democrats, including then-Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Joe Biden (D-DE) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), all attacked the surge strategy before it was even implemented. In 2007 alone 30 Senate Democrats voted to cut off funds for the troops in the field, including Obama, Biden, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Reid, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and other members of the Democrat leadership like Chuck Schumer (D-IL) and Patty Murray (D-WA). Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) repeatedly offered amendments to cut off funds for the troops, forcing multiple votes that failed by large margins but attracting more than half of Democrats each time.

And yet the Obama administration is now claiming credit for how things have turned out. Obama wrote in an email sent from the White House yesterday, “Shortly after taking office, I put forward a plan to end the war in Iraq responsibly. Today, I’m pleased to report that — thanks to the extraordinary service of our troops and civilians in Iraq — our combat mission will end this month, and we will complete a substantial drawdown of our troops.” But Obama said of the surge in January 2007, “[T]he president’s strategy will not work.” A year later he said, “Tonight we heard President Bush say that the surge in Iraq is working, when we know that’s just not true.”

 Other Democrat senators were even blunter. Biden said, “This whole notion that the surge is working is fantasy.” Hillary Clinton said, “It has failed.” Reid famously proclaimed, “[T]his war is lost and that the surge is not accomplishing anything.” And that’s without even getting into the outrageous attacks on Gen. Petraeus from Democrats, who accused him of “carefully manipulating the statistics” on Iraq, declaring, “I don’t believe him,” and “he may be the only one who believes this is a good idea.”

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