Dave Ross / CBS Radio Network – 2010-08-20 22:18:51
(August 20, 2010) — The last of the combat troops have left Iraq. Some by air, some on the ground. The 4th Stryker Brigade actually drove out, and rolled into Kuwait without a single casualty on the way. It’s an amazing thing because it was motivated by a date — by a mark on the calendar. The deadline had arrived.
Thereâ€™s been no political breakthrough in Iraq. The Iraqi government is still corrupt and dysfunctional. The country has not been rebuilt. The electricity still goes out unpredictably and car bombs still go off.
But we are leaving. And here’s the important part: We’re upbeat. One soldier even declared victory. [Audio of soldier shouting: “We won! It’s over!”]
Wow! And to think, there was a time when setting a withdrawal date was considered setting a “surrender” date. To think there was a time when anyone who wanted to leave Iraq was considered a coward. [Audio of George W. Bush: “The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of Cut-and-Run.”]
But nobodyâ€™s talking “cut-and-run” today. Combat forces are out, the rest will follow next year and the Internet is pretty much silent about it.
And why? Because Iraq is peaceful; because we’ve killed the last terrorist? No.
We just agreed to a date and stuck to it. And do we feel defeated? Do any of you feel defeated? Yes, it’s true: weâ€™re poorer by a trillion dollars; we’re sadder because of the 4500 who died. But we donâ€™t feel defeated. And we don’t feel any less safe, either.
It is amazing how things can change when politicians stop trying to whip everyone into a frenzy.
This is Dave Ross on the CBS radio network.
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