As a candidate, I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as President. We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August. We will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and continue to partner with the Iraqi people to promote regional peace and prosperity. But make no mistake: this war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home. - President Obama, State of the Union last nightOkay...so it was a bit anticlimactic for we peaceniks who have been disheartened since last March, when the President announced his August 2010 plan to withdraw combat troops from Iraq. After all, he had promised an end to the war in Iraq within 16 months of the beginning of his term. August 2010 was 20 months.
Plus, the distinction "combat troops" seemed like a bit of a fudge on the promise to bring all troops home.
But, oh, I did love the sound of "Make no mistake: this war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home." It gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't suppress my own round of standing applause.
And then I couldn't suppress my memory.
I am still trying to forget the words of a different President, spoken quite dramatically in May of 2003: "In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." -George W. Bush
Oh, if only...
If, indeed, we had prevailed in Iraq by May of 2003, perhaps 4,000 young US men and women would still be walking this Earth.
If we had prevailed and stopped fighting in Iraq by May of 2003, we'd have had 960-billion dollars in the national bank to keep our economy out of the depths of despair.
So Barack Obama better not be blowing smoke up our pant legs. Because we all know how to calculate the cost of war.
If only he had waved a magic "instant peace" wand last January:
The US would have 90-billion unspent war dollars sitting in the national treasury, and 149 US military troops might still be alive.
"Make no mistake: this war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home."
Make no mistake, Mr. President: Our patience is ending in August. Bring the troops home.
Until then, I choose to embrace the President's tone of resolve and be hopeful.