The day marking the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraqi cities and towns has been declared a national holiday, and Iraqis are celebrating. Of course everyone is hoping that the pullback and the eventual withdrawal of all 130,000 U.S. troops from Iraq will not lead to more violence, or worse.
Sadly, The New York Times already reports:
As if on cue, a car bomb exploded in a crowded outdoor market in the northern city of Kirkuk late Tuesday, killing at least 24 people, in a deadly reminder that the violence here will continue through the pullback of American troops…
The Times also reports that on Monday, four American soldiers died from combat operations in Baghdad, “underscoring their vulnerability as they wrap up operations in the field.”
In my “U.S. Troop Pullback in Iraq: Cheney’s Dark Words and Thoughts,” last night, I commented on Mr. Cheney’s concerns over the pullback, a pullback that was negotiated and agreed to by president Bush.
Mr. Cheney: “But what [Odierno] says concerns me: That there is still a continuing problem. One might speculate that insurgents are waiting as soon as they get an opportunity to launch more attacks.” And, “I would not want to see us waste all the tremendous sacrifice that’s gotten us to this point”
After having defended Cheney against insinuations and clear attacks made against him and the G.O.P that it is “as if the G.O.P. was almost rooting for a terrorist attack on Obama’s watch,” and, “When you read behind it, it’s almost as if [Cheney is] wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point,” I will not now say that Cheney is hoping for the insurgents in Iraq “to launch more attacks.”
However, I will restate my hope expressed last night. A hope that if, God forbid, Cheney’s dark fears materialize, he will not resort to the “I told you so” sleaze that many are fearing he will use if we, God forbid again, are attacked once more on our own soil. A hope, also, that if things turn sour in Iraq, he will not blame the Obama administration.
For, it was the Bush-Cheney administration that negotiated and agreed to the Status of Forces and other agreements that established the date for the pullback of U.S. troops out of Iraqi towns and cities. And, more important, because the same brave troops and generals who were so superbly serving and sacrificing in Iraq under the Bush-Cheney administration are continuing to just as superbly serve and, sadly, to sacrifice under the Obama administration.
In the Fox O’Reilly Factor show last night, Monica Crowley, in for Bill O’Reilly, discussed both Cheney’s remarks and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraqi cities with FOX News strategic analyst, Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters.
At the end of the segment, after discussing president Bush’s performance in Iraq, Crowley said:
Well, I think that, if this thing shakes out in Iraq favorably, and if we see some sort of regime change in Iran, I think history will regard President Bush’s revolutionizing the entire Persian gulf region.
OK, Ms. Crowley, “if this thing shakes out favorably in Iraq,” yes, by all means, let’s give credit to Bush—and Cheney.
But, Ms. Crowley, the real question is, if “this thing” doesn’t “shake out favorably”, on whom will you and Cheney lay the blame?
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.