"I understand that there are people who disagree, people who are ready for the troops to come home. The President strongly believes that setting a date for surrender is not the way to do that." - White House Press Briefing by Dana Perino
"Let’s not play semantics. Redeploy is another word for surrender, retreat... Retreat! Surrender! Give up!"" - Sean Hannity, who has never served in the military
"This is cut and run, surrender without the words." - Rush Limbaugh, who has also never served in the military
"Having been attacked by al Qaeda, for us now to go bombing Iraq in response would be like our invading Mexico after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbour." Richard Clark, former Chair of the Counter-terrorism Security Group, United States National Security Council ("Anti-Terrorism Czar")
"In the days following those terrible attacks, the country's pain and despair were quickly replaced with a steely resolve to bring those responsible to justice. The world stood by our side, ready to join us in this effort.
"But before he'd finished the job of destroying al Qaeda, President Bush chose a different path, misleading us into an ill-planned war in Iraq...
"Our military is not to blame for those setbacks. The men and women who serve us in uniform have met every challenge and surpassed every goal with remarkable courage. These are President Bush's failures - and it is long past time for him to change his flawed policies." Senator Harry Reid, D, Nev
As a military veteran, and as a reasonable person, I am quite tired of people or the right saying that to leave Iraq would be "surrender". I'm also quite tired of people, left or right, saying we've lost there.
Our military did not lose, and coming home is not "surrender".
They went in to a country with a hostile dictator, and they removed him. They defeated his army, removed his political apparatus, and captured him personally. That's it. They won. Game over. At the risk of putting too fine a point on it, they kicked ass.
Now, we have valiant soldiers in a distinctly non-military mission, attempting to do police work in a country not their own.
The "mission" was to free Iraq from the grasp of a dictator. Are there other dictatorships in the region we would have been better to "free"? Absolutely. Of course. Would it have been better to stick to our stated and justified goal of finding and crushing Bin Laden and Al Qaeda? Absolutely. Of course.
Those "woulda, coulda, shoulda" considerations aside, our soldiers have done the job they were sent to do. They've performed valiantly and without hesitation or complaint. They've won. Now, bring them home, take impeccably good care of them, and let anyone who's only idea of "supporting the troops" is to expose them to further peril for no honorable cause be denounced as the lying traitors they are.
There are absolutely risks to our leaving Iraq. At the risk of an indelicate illustration, there are risks as any child matures and grows and seeks it's way in the world... And this is a very young government, but in a very old culture. It's insulting and improper and more than a little imperialistic for us to hover over them, unwelcome, and dictate to them how to reform their society.
Of course it's justifiable and honorable to render some needed assistance to the new government of Iraq, and we should be prepared to render reasonable assistance to them as needed... As they request it, first and foremost. We should make the greatest efforts to be good allies with this new government, and neighboring states should be informed without question that we will rise to their defense if their position is compromised by opportunistic efforts in the region.
The 'war' is over. Let's come home. Before we can support this new state, we must allow it to become a new state in fact.