Obama Almost Conceedes Success in Iraq

The President made a surprise visit to Iraq today and made some brief remarks to a large gathering of troops at Camp Victory, near Baghdad.

Click to watch the 8 minute video: President Obama Visits Iraq

The President was well received by the troops and enthusiastically embraced his role as Commander in Chief.  He came very close to acknowledging that the Iraq operation was a success, even though the foundation of his Presidential Campaign was bitter opposition to deposing Saddam and establishing a democratic ally in the heart of the Middle East.  Here’s an excerpt:

You have performed brilliantly in every mission that has been given to you.  under enormous  strain and under enormous sacrifice, through controversy, and difficulty and politics you’ve kept your eyes focused on just doing your job.  And because of that, in every mission that has been assigned, from getting rid of Saddam, to reducing violence, to stabiliizng the country to facilitating elections, you have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country.  and for that you have the thanks of the American people.

Let us not forget who was the source of the “controversy and politics.”  Candidate Obama and the Democrats in Congress.  Let us not forget Candidate Obama’s attempts to cause the Iraq operation to end in failure.

When the ultimately successful strategies known as “the surge” were beginning Senator Obama could have seized the opportunity to be an idealistic, visionary leader in the cause of Liberty for the Iraqi people, and victory for America.  Instead, he deferred to the defeatist dogma of those in his party who desperately wanted failure in Iraq, to vindicate their position, that “Bush’s war” was an irreversible disaster. In a TV interview Candidate Obama fell back on the simplistic chants of the anti-war Left:

We cannot impose a military solution on what has effectively become a civil war. And until we acknowledge that reality — we can send 15,000 more troops, 20,000 more troops, 30,000 more troops, I don’t know any expert on the region or any military officer that I’ve spoken to privately that believes that that is going to make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground.

In July, 2007 as the intense combat phase of the surge strategies and initiatives was in full force, and the troops deserved unqualified support from the home front, Senator Obama appeared on The Today Show and said:

My assessment is that the surge has not worked and we will not see a different report eight weeks from now.

Obama repeatedly tried his best prevent success in Iraq, first by introducing legislation that would have aborted the surge just as it began, and by twice voting to withdraw funds for the Iraq operation, even as US troops were engaged in daily combat.

Here’s another excerpt from Today’s remarks to the troops in Baghdad

I want you to know that Michelle and myself are doing everything we can to provide more support for military families…we are going to do everything required to make sure that the commitment we make to our veterans is met and people don’t have to fight for what they have earned as a consequence of their service…as long as I’m in the White House  you are going to get the support you need and the thanks you deserve from a grateful nation.

One wonders how many of the soldiers present today knew that just three weeks ago Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki  announced the Administration’s plan to start billing private insurance companies for medical services provided by the VA to treat combat-related injuries and conditions.

“What,” you ask, shocked?

Suppose a veteran’s combat injury requires periodic testing and treatment for for several years, or even for the rest  of his life.  Suppose he leaves the service and takes a job.  Obama’s idea is to bill the employer’s health insurance company for the periodic testing and treatments.

How can the President justify this you ask?  He claims it will save $560 million, and that “the insurance companies should pay their fair share.”  So even though they didn’t receive any insurance premiums from the soldiers during their time in Iraq, it is “fair” to stick them with the cost of treatments?  The negative reaction from veterans groups and Democrats in Congress has been deafening and it appears that – for now – the idea has been set aside.

Military personnel should, in the words of Ronald Reagan, “trust but verify” any promises made by this President.

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