This is a reminder of the Barack Obama who publicly opposed the surge strategy in Iraq:
The campaign against the surge, the brain child of the far left organization, MoveOn.org, published a full page ad in newspapers across the country calling military hero Gen. David Petraeus, "General Betray Us". It was disgraceful in its tone and yet presidential candidates Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton were only too eager to embrace the tactic. All three Democrats were only too happy to grandstand and denounce a fellow American's military strategy. It was bare-knuckle politics; partisanship at its worst.
President Obama spoke to the nation from the newly re-decorated Oval Office with primetime television coverage about the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq. He wants everyone to know he met his deadline of August 31. As Michael O'Hanlon writes,
First, a word on campaign promises. Before becoming president, Mr. Obama said he would have all the US combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months—though sometimes he also spoke of an even faster schedule, since he would occasionally state that he intended to pull out one to two combat brigades per month (and there were 15 in the country when he was inaugurated). In fact, after 19 months of the Obama presidency, we still have five brigades and 50,000 troops in the country, with their full suites of weaponry. They have been redesignated as advise and assist brigades, but their composition and their capabilities still have 85 to 90 percent overlap with traditional combat units. And they will continue to go on joint patrols, man joint checkpoints with Iraqis and otherwise continue many of the tasks that they were carrying out before. Also, in the absence of a peace treaty or ceasefire accord, we do not really get to decide here in Washington when combat is over.
Thank the brave troops who have waged this war. They deserve better from their Commander-in-Chief than to give them anything less than a celebration of their efforts as they return home. He, unfortunately, is too busy campaigning for his domestic policies.