Larry Elder

5) George Bush did not "rush" America into the war. He obtained a consensus -- a resolution from the House, a resolution from the Senate and a resolution from the United Nations. There was a 15-month run-up before the war, during which time Saddam could have declared what he did or did not do with the WMD.

6) Americans supported the Iraq War, overwhelmingly at least at first. Gallup found 76 percent of Americans supported the Iraq War when the military action began, about the same percentage that supported the first Persian Gulf War.

7) Obama wanted out of Iraq, and ran in 2008 with a promise to do just that. A year after the troop pullout, during a 2012 debate, Mitt Romney said he wanted a residual force to remain. Obama pointedly disagreed, saying that leaving "10,000 troops in Iraq ... would tie us down."

Incredibly, Obama now blames the Iraqis for his refusal to leave any troops. Obama says he wanted legal protection for the soldiers left behind and that Iraq's parliament would not provide it. So Obama happily walked away, blaming it on "a decision made by the Iraqi government" to reject the offer of "a modest residual force." Obama sure had no difficulty in quickly working out an agreement -- via diplomatic notes, without the approval of Iraq's parliament -- for the recently promised 300 "advisers."

8) We were greeted as liberators in Iraq. The New York Times Iraq reporter John Burns said: "The American troops were greeted as liberators. We saw it." In April, 2003, the New York Daily News reported, "Jubilant crowds chanted, 'Thank you, Bush' and showered troops with yellow and pink flowers, exactly as administration hawks had promised."

9). There were legitimate, good-faith reasons why we sent "too few troops." The Times' Burns said, "I think that to be fair to the United States, when I speak as a citizen of the United Kingdom, I think that the instincts that led to much that went wrong were good American instincts: the desire not to have too heavy of a footprint, the desire to empower Iraqis."

10) The men and women who served in Iraq deserve better. They achieved great things under harsh and unforgiving circumstances. That the succeeding commander-in-chief did not preserve their hard-fought gains ought not devalue what they accomplished. Perhaps the returning soldiers might more readily adjust to civilian life if Americans truly understood and appreciated what they achieved in Iraq. They did their jobs -- and their mission was just, important and noble.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.


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