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Thank You for Ending the Iraq War

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Dec. 19th, 2011 | 06:31 pm

In Iowa President Obama’s campaign headquarters is the target of anti-war Occupiers demanding the dismantling of the “ U.S. military empire.” .  A photograph of the protesters taken Sunday shows fresh-faced people mugging for the camera in friendly sincerity.  The Occupiers were  apparently either oblivious or unmoved by the news that the final American troops were departing Iraq as they pitched their tents in a public opposition to the President who orchestrated and ordered the war’s end.

Anti-war rally, Mother's Day, 2007In San Francisco, my church has been a hive of anti-Iraq war activity.  The peace-loving congregation wrapped the building up in anti-war tape one year for a Mother’s Day anti-war media event, and we melodramatically toll a bell and read the names of war dead during the worship service several times a year.

Yet, not a word was said at church Sunday about the end of the war this Sunday, the day of the war’s end.  Not a word from the pulpit during the prayers and not a word during the sermon.  In fact, there was not a word of mention in any coffee hour conversation I heard.  No prayers of thanksgiving  nor  even a secular fist-bump for having accomplished a dramatic change in the nation’s policy. Not a word.

On the streets and in halls of worship there is no acknowledgment that an ugly, unwanted chapter of American history has ended.  There is no gratitude that the President has fulfilled his campaign pledge to end the war in Iraq.  There is no celebration – even an appropriately solemn one – ticking off the significant end of a tragic misstep.

I worry.  Moderates are doomed if we cannot appreciate policy victories and praise the leaders that achieved them.

While the earnest Occupiers were targeting the headquarters of the man who got us out of Iraq,  the Republicans who would replace him were promising, plotting, and promoting a war against Iran.  While my congregation’s consciousness left Iraq to worry about government cutbacks to programs for the poor, challengers to the President were promising more military expenditures, demanding balanced budgets, and writing a dystopian scenario for disadvantaged Americans.

The media, political officeholders, and the supposed moral compasses of the nation are already focused on the fighting and carping centered on other issues.  The opinion makers have moved to the story of the next news cycle.

Apparently it is left to me, some middle-aged white guy at a keyboard in his home office to express gratitude. So here goes.

Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you to for using your skills, your political capital, and your personal guts to get us out of Iraq.  Thank you, President Obama for keeping this promise you made when you ran for office.  You have moved the country to a better place.



Article first published as Thank you for Ending the Iraq War on Technorati.
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