Nine years of blood, sweat, toil and tears, punishment and pain, guts and glory fizzled to a sputtering halt this month as the colors were cased and the troops mounted their transports and began the long, slow journey home.
No Victory Parade for Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans
Instead, a closed ceremony at a secure perimeter in Baghdad, and a ho-hum speech by Obama at Fort Bragg where the word 'Victory' was never mentioned. Because I am interested in all things that take place in my home of more than two decades I actually watched that speech and because I'm a trained interrogator I studied the faces in the crowd on the stands behind the President, and of course the face of the man doing the talking; Barack Hussein Obama.
Obama was so far outside of his element he might as well have been in Outer Space. Instead of a victory speech, he gave a campaign speech, because that's all he knows how to do. That, and condescend as if he was lecturing a group of college students. It took the President of the United States the better part of thirty minutes to explained what happened, why we did it, and The Meaning of It All.
For the record, THIS is how one gives a victory speech to a group of veterans:
"VENI, VIDI, VICI!"
I Came, I Saw, I Conquered - Julius Caesar, 47 BC
At the beginning of this great conflict - once known as the Global War on Terror, now merely referred to as "Overseas Contingency Operations" - it was often observed that this war would not involve the sort of glorious episodes witnessed in earlier wars. The geniuses who know everything and yet know nothing informed us that this was a new kind of war - a war against an invisible enemy who wears no uniform, flies no flag, operates with disregard to borders and diplomatic protocols.
There would be no taking of enemy capitals, no ceremonies indicating an end of hostilities.
And yet two enemy capitals were taken, and we just saw the ceremony, and the same geniuses who explained to us that there would be none of this now tell us that the war is over, that hostilities have finished, and that the American military experience in Iraq has come to an end.
I've got two things to say to that: A) when you have secured the area, make sure to inform the enemy (Murphy's Law of Combat) and B) we are deluding ourselves if we think democracy will ever work in Arab muslim countries. Egypt is lost, and Iraq is poised for a breakup. I give them six months until the excrement really starts hitting the rotating ventilator.
If there is no intent to honor the veterans of the Iraqi War, acknowledge their struggle with a victory parade, then we will honor them here.