I see that Fox News and top Republicans such as Mitch McConnell are insisting that President Obama credit his predecessor, President George W. Bush, for making possible tonight’s announcement that U.S. troops are no longer engaged in combat in Iraq.
I suppose that’s true, they have a point. You could certainly argue, for example, that if Bush hadn’t committed us to that misbegotten war in the first place, President Obama wouldn’t be making tonight’s speech.
In fact, if Bush hadn’t decided to try to occupy Iraq with far fewer troops than were necessary, ignoring advice from top generals that several hundred thousand soldiers would be needed to do the job right, we might have been able to bring our role to a conclusion years ago instead of now. So they’re right in that sense as well.
And if Bush had understood the nature of the conflict much earlier — if he hadn’t stood in front of that “Mission Accomplished” banner on May 1, 2003 and proclaimed that major combat had ended in