- The Washington Times - Monday, December 19, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Last week President Obama praised our military for their Iraq service (“Obama welcomes troops from Iraq,” Web, Wednesday). He emphasized their abiding, unwavering commitment to one another, a commitment which leaves behind in Iraq a sovereign, stable, representative government. In his new re-election video, Mr. Obama touts ending the war as a promise kept. In these instances, Mr. Obama hid his unfaithfulness to our military and dissembled.

In July 2007, while members of the U.S. Senate, Mr. Obama, Joseph R. Biden and Hillary Rodham Clinton co-sponsored the Levin-Reed amendment, requiring most of our troops to leave Iraq by April 2008. Passage would have precluded the very achievements the Obama administration is now embracing.

Beginning in 2007 with the “Anbar Awakening” and throughout 2008, the Iraqi people and leaders experienced deliverance from lives dominated by assassins stalking them and their families. Iraqis witnessed establishment of national institutions providing them with personal and material security.

President George W. Bush’s November 2008 Status of Forces Agreement, not Mr. Obama’s election promise, defined the endgame for Iraq involvement. Mr. Obama did not choose timelines for U.S. combat brigade departures; the Status of Forces Agreement required withdrawal from cities, villages and localities by June 30, 2009. The agreement, not Mr. Obama, required all U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq territory by Dec. 31, 2011. Iraq and the United States - without Mr. Obama - devised the withdrawal strategies that are now completed.

NOLAN NELSON

Eugene, Ore.

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