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ROBB AUSTIN'S TURN

Criticism Disappears Over Bush-Obama Iraq Policy

May 11, 2009

Funny how there is no clamoring or outcry about the United States’ war policy in Iraq these days.

We have the same level of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan and the same timetable for withdrawal in Iraq that was proposed by former President George Bush before he left office.

President Barrack Obama also decided it was in his own best interests to keep at the helm President Bush’s good friend Robert Gates at the Department of Defense.

But yet, hardly a word is now uttered by the Democratic party, the voting public or the national press against the new administration’s Iraq policy. There are a few demonstrations - but they aren’t covered much by the press and most war critics now seem totally accepting of the current Bush policy - as announced by President Obama.

Casualties in Iraq for the four months President Obama has been in office are the same as they were during the final four months of the Bush administration - yet still - President Bush’s war critics have vanished.

This is a far cry from what we heard during the past year running up to the Presidential election. We now know that the Bush Iraq policy worked - the terrorists have been defeated and prospects for a democratic foothold in that strategic part of the world look bright.

It was the United States which stood virtually alone in the fight to overthrow a Hitler-style dictator - Saddam Hussein - a man who invaded a neighboring country, a dictator who brutally suppressed and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children, attempted to assassinate a United States President, and paid $20,000 to the families of suicide bombers who murdered innocent people in Israel.

Iraq did not readily possess weapons of mass destruction as the world thought - but there is no reasonable doubt - if Hussein could have facilitated the transfer of possession of nuclear weapons into the hands of terrorists to be used against the United States - he would have - in a heartbeat.

President Bush was vilified by those who opposed him politically - under the guise that - after all - Hussein did nothing to the United States - so why are we bothering him, they reasoned.

Now we know much of the criticism was overtly personal toward President Bush - which said more about those hurtling the charges than it did about President Bush himself.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated on April 19, 2007, that both the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State know "the war is lost, that the surge is not accomplishing anything," and that victory in Iraq was "impossible."

This he said to the same Secretary of Defense - Robert Gates - who is now serving in that same position for President Obama - and the person who administered the Iraq surge that Senator Reid said was "lost and impossible."

There have always been criticisms of war policy - that is to be expected. But the attacks directed toward President Bush were not directed toward his policy - but toward him personally. That culture of personal attacks was a culture which produced a personal anger from those who simply didn’t get their political way - and the result was a country that could only be described as a dysfunctional democracy.

Nothing could be more evident to support this claim than the current Iraq and Afghanistan war policies - which are nothing more than Bush policies adopted by President Obama.

Yet, today, compared with several months ago, as the war goes on - hardly a critical word is said.