I want to say thank you to all of the men and women who have served our country honorably and bravely during "Operation Iraqi Freedom"; you have brought our country victory, brought security and stability to the Iraqi people, and made the United States of America a safer place.
I was disappointed in President Obama's speech and his unwillingness to say that we had won the war, as well as his unwillingness to admit he was wrong about the surge and to thank President Bush.
This is a President who campaigned to the far left to ensure his nomination and election. He voted to defund our troops, he said the surge would actually make the situation in Iraq worse, and he used Hillary Clinton's vote for the war against her to ensure the Democratic nomination. Yet last tonight, when he had been proven wrong about the surge, he could not bring himself to admit as much; without the courage of President Bush and General Petraeus, President Obama's address from the Oval Office last night would not have been possible. If we had followed the path he proposed as a senator and candidate for President, the country of Iraq would have been left in disarray and an operating base for worldwide terrorism would exist within the borders of Iraq.
I was also disappointed in the President's ambiguity regarding our country's mission in Afghanistan. In one sentence he said our drawdown would begin next summer, but in the very next sentence he said our drawdown would be condition-based. We cannot, under any circumstances, give our enemy a timeline for battle. Al Qaeda has the patience to wait, and we must be willing to take the fight to them at all times -- on all fronts. A timeline for withdrawal is unacceptable; we must continue the mission until victory has been achieved and goals on the ground have been met.