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Moran Welcomes End to War in Iraq

by Katie Pyzyk December 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm 1,897 49 Comments

Today the U.S. military officially declared an end to the war in Iraq. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta participated in a symbolic ceremony in Iraq, making the declaration and retiring the flag of U.S. Forces-Iraq according to Army tradition. Locally, Rep. Jim Moran (D) released a statement welcoming the end to the war and thanking service members for their involvement.

“Today, our men and women in uniform, their families, and a war-weary country welcome an end to our direct involvement in Iraq.

I opposed the invasion from the outset because President George W. Bush’s rationale was erroneous and unjustified. It lacked an exit strategy and realistic plan to stabilize and rebuild the country once Saddam Hussein was removed from power. The cost of U.S. involvement has been too high in blood and treasure. To date, the United States has spent more than $806 billion and lost more than 4,450 American lives.

I applaud President Obama for responsibly ending our military involvement in Iraq. Through his three-stage drawdown plan, President Obama fulfilled his campaign promise to bring our troops home.

As we welcome home a new generation of veterans, we have a concomitant responsibility to provide them with more than just a word of thanks. The caliber of the individuals who served speaks volumes about our country and demonstrates the enormous potential for our nation’s future. It is now our obligation to assist these individuals as they transition to civilian life, by providing the proper health care, educational and employment opportunities.”

  • ArLater

    He couldnt have thanked all the men and women who served over there first instead of starting with a rant showing how he was always against this war??

    3 paragraphs about how he disliked the war

    1 about thanking the troops

    Cant we just leave politics out once?!

    • Grognak

      Truly, a first class jerk.

      Could not even give proper credit to the President who negotiated and signed the agreement that set the 12/31/2011 deadline for complete withdrawal.

      • novasteve

        Did he blame the Jews again?

        • charlie

          or little black kids?

          • drax

            Or automatic transmissions?

      • brendan

        not when Cheney is out making the rounds accusing Democrats of cutting and running for following through on the agreement Bush-Cheney signed.

        • Grognak

          And yet here we have Moran celebrating the results of that agreement by praising Obama.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      “Cant we just leave politics out once?!”

      Never gonna happen in this metro area, unfortunately.

    • Josh S

      For an unpopular war that was rammed down our throat by a bunch of ideologues? How do you leave politics out of that?

      Seems that Moran got the proportions about right…..

      And while I guess thanks are in order, I would think condolences and apologies would be better emotions to express to the soldiers.

      In other news, I wonder about ARLNow’s decision to make this into an item. It’s quite obviously only going to ignite a storm of Moran-bashing. He had no particular role to play in the Iraq war. His news release is really fairly irrelevant, I would think. Are we going to be reading about his news releases related to Kate Middleton’s pregnancy, whenever that happens?

      • Quoth the Raven

        “Rammed down our throat?” Let’s recall that the Senate voted 77-23, and the House voted 296-133. So that’s almost 400 elected officials who voted for the Iraq war. I’m not sure if those are the “ideologues” you reference in your post, or if you’re going with the “Bush lied to Congress so it’s not their fault” or something.

        In other words, we can try to revise history all we want. Certainly, many of those that voted in favor wish to do so. But the fact is that they did, in fact, vote for the war. No matter how much they wish to change that fact, they can’t – Congress approved that war. Was Bush the driver behind that vote? Sure he was. But Congress should not be allowed to abdicate their responsibility just because they regret how they voted.

        • Josh S

          I never parsed it.

          But – so now Congressmen and women are paragons of virtue and intelligence? Have you never argued on this site that politicians were idiots or incompetent or in the pockets of lobbyists or any of the rest? Their vote is not evidence that the war was just or justified.

          I suspect that some of them have since regretted their vote. Or perhaps regretted it at the time but were hogtied by politics to cast their vote with the crowd so as not to appear “unpatriotic” or “soft on terrorism” or some similar BS.

          But again, my comments about the unpopularity of the war and the lies, mistruths, halftruths, etc that were used to justify it have nothing to do with how Congress voted.

          Politics were front and center throughout the war so one can hardly commemorate the end of it without reference to politics.

          • Quoth the Raven

            I am certainly not saying that Congressmen and women are “paragons of virtue and intelligence”. Far from it. From your post, I interpreted “bunch of ideologues” to mean “Bush and his cronies” because that’s the way the war is often described. And if I misinterpreted what you were saying, sorry.

            My greater point, though, is that Congress cannot put their heads in the sand and pretend they had nothing to do with Iraq. Congressmen and women tend to be paragons of one thing and one thing only: getting reelected. Nothing else matters. Unless you have a retiring politician, that politician will only vote for things popular enough to get him reelected. So, Iraq is a classic case of “We were for it before we were against it.” And they should be held accountable for that. Yes, Bush bears a lot of the blame, if not most of the blame, for the fiasco that the Iraq war was. But Congress was right there next to him, no matter how often they claim they had nothing to do with it.

          • Zoning Victim

            Most Americans need to accept their part in going to war with Iraq. The war enjoyed great public support before it began, and even well into it. It wasn’t until everybody realized that we were going to attempt to stay there and occupy the country against the will of the very people we were supposed to be liberating that public support for the war in Iraq died. Most Americans were furious that we didn’t defy the UN and defeat Saddam in Iraq during the first gulf war instead of simply pushing Iraqi troops our of Kuwait. In fact, a large part of the campaign against G. H. W. Bush during his reelection bid was that he was a wimp. A lot of people are rewriting their own history with regards to their support for the two gulf wars.

            Let’s also not forget that a majority in the United Nations supported this war. We had the votes to go in under a UN resolution, but France was going to veto it. Of course, they had good reason to try to keep us out of there since they were helping Saddam defraud the oil for food program so they could get cheap oil.

          • drax

            Don’t speak for me. I opposed it from the beginning. I saw all the problems coming.

            (I supported the Afghanistan war btw).

          • Quoth the Raven

            CW, please – enough about how Congress was “lied to” and “duped”. They saw the very same intelligence that the President saw. They had the same classified briefings. It’s utter hogwash to think that Congress was deliberately lied to. Honestly, is the Exec Branch (especially the intelligence services) competent enough to execute that large of a conspiracy? For them to later claim they were “duped” means that they were actually deliberately ignorant or willfully incompetent. And I doubt either option is true.

          • Josh S

            On the other hand, let’s not forget what Congress was actually voting for – an authorization for Bush to use the armed forces as he saw fit in order to “defend the national security of the United States” and enforce UN resolutions. Why were they even considering the resolution? Because the Bush administration wanted them to. Did Congress conduct a thorough review of the situation to determine on their own what the circumstances were and whether an invasion was justified? No. Instead, they relied on lobbying from the White House and the information presented to them by members of the administration. Primarily, it came down to two things: lies about the presence of WMDs in Iraq and continued use of the words “Iraq” “terrorists” and “9/11” very close to one another so as to imply Iraq had something to do with 9/11. These “arguments” were consistently made to Congress and in public by members of the administration, not by members of Congress. The war was rammed down the throats of Congress just as it was ours by the ideologues in the Bush administration.
            Congress approves every budget for the executive branch. Yet we never hear Congress blamed for programmatic errors in the Energy Department or Education Department, etc. It’s always the President that takes the blame because he is the leader of that branch. People don’t remember Congress fondly for launching the moon program – it’s Kennedy. They don’t call it “Congresscare” today, they call it “Obamacare.” In the early days of the war, when it appeared that things were going well, it wasn’t the Speaker of the House who flew onto an aircraft carrier and declared Mission Accomplished. It was the President. If he wants to take the credit, he also takes the blame.
            This was Bush’s war, he duped and bullied Congress into voting for it, also relying on various talking heads to excoriate anyone who had the temerity to vote against it.

          • CW

            Ding ding ding, we have a winner. If someone comes in and lies to people enough to convince them of something, only the most cynical would blame those who were duped rather than the conniving liar who was responsible for the hoax.

            That said, I think a lot of people supported going in there and cleaning things out. But no one thought we would be in there for 9 years (and frankly, I don’t know anyone who really understands what we’ve been doing for about the last 8 of those).

          • Professor Periwinkle

            And the Democratically controlled Congress continue to authorize the military funding for the war year after year after year after year after year.

          • Zoning Victim

            Okay, so basically what you’re saying is congress isn’t accountable for the way they vote because people always incorrectly hand the credit to the sitting president. That really makes absolutely no sense and means nothing with regards to whether or not the Democrats knew what they were voting for when they voted on that bill. Rewrite history however you want, but everybody knew that Bush was taking us to war in Iraq if the congress voted for that bill. All of them had all of the same information as Bush. The only people who believe the Democrats didn’t know what they were doing are people that don’t want to have to believe that Democrats are as responsible as Bush or anyone else who voted for that bill; well not wanting something to be true doesn’t make it false.

        • brendan

          eh… i am proud that the people i worked for saw this vote as a ruse to provide grounds for invasion and voted against it, but that’s not the way it was presented to Members and there is a legit argument to be made that the Bush Administration misled both parties in Congress as to their intentions. Unless you made a trip to Qatar in the Fall of 2002 and saw the tent cities, the c-5 and c-17s dropping off supplies, equipment and troops on an hourly basis, it would have been very difficult to know for sure they were planning to invade, much less the stranglehold they had placed on the intelligence community.

          • Zoning Victim

            BS, everybody knew we were going to invade.

          • drax

            It was so freakin’ obvious that Bush’s mind was made up for invasion, even as he pretended to be trying everything he could to avoid it.

    • drax

      1st paragraph:

      “Today, our men and women in uniform, their families, and a war-weary country welcome an end to our direct involvement in Iraq.”

      That’s about how he disliked the war? That’s politics?

  • OX4

    “I applaud President Obama for responsibly ending our military involvement in Iraq. Through his three-stage drawdown plan, President Obama fulfilled his campaign promise to bring our troops home.”

    It’s amazing how politicians can say this stuff with a straight face. As an op-ed in Al Jazeera puts it today, “Unmentioned…were the futile negotiations and pressure by a US government desperate to stay in the country by any means possible.”

    • fair and balanced

      because op-ed’s in Al Jazeera and as reiliable a source of infomraitons as Fox News

      • drax

        Yeah, unfortunately, Al Jazeera is probably more reliable.

        • Zoning Victim

          Yeah, not to mention the fact that they are correct in this case. Perhaps fair and balanced should have been reading the news about the fact that the final troop withdrawal was because the Iraqi government refused to grant amnesty to the troops; it was extensively covered leading up to the collapse of negotiations to keep US troops in Iraq.

      • OX4

        okay. how about Foreign Policy?

        http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/10/21/how_the_obama_administration_bungled_the_iraq_withdrawal_negotiations

        Shall I get an article from the Post and Times too?

      • Burger

        Que? SOFA was negotiated by Bush back in 2008. The only thing Obama did with respect to SOFA was follow through with the agreed on deadline that was negotiated by Bush.

        And Al Jazeera is right, Obama did almost everything in his power to keep US troops in the field and extend the deadline.

    • Patrick

      Not to mention that it was President Bush that negotiated and signed the time table for withdrawal. Not President Obama.

  • (another) Greg

    At least he didn’t blame the Jewish community this time.

  • TV Newser

    Oh Look! Some ideologues and fool!

    Baucus (D-MT)
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Biden (D-DE)
    Breaux (D-LA)
    Cantwell (D-WA)
    Carnahan (D-MO)
    Carper (D-DE)
    Cleland (D-GA)
    Clinton (D-NY)
    Daschle (D-SD)
    Dodd (D-CT)
    Dorgan (D-ND)
    Edwards (D-NC)
    Feinstein (D-CA)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Hollings (D-SC)
    Johnson (D-SD)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Kohl (D-WI)
    Landrieu (D-LA)
    Lieberman (D-CT)
    Lincoln (D-AR)
    Miller (D-GA)
    Nelson (D-FL)
    Nelson (D-NE)
    Reid (D-NV)
    Rockefeller (D-WV)
    Schumer (D-NY)
    Torricelli (D-NJ)

  • TGEoA

    I wish we can soon celebrate the end of Jim Moran.

  • mickey644

    HA! Obama did nothing to pull us out. ZERO, nada and Moron should know that. We pulled out because they refused to sign a SOFA, Statue of Forces Agreement that all countries usually sign that prevents a foreign country from prosecuting US forces for whatever crime they may or may not commit. Most (if not all) countries let the military handle their own discipline. Obama had no choice to leave Iraq. It had nothing to do with politics or how many men and women we lost. He just couldn’t get the SOFA done! That means that the largest embassy in the world is without strong military security.

  • mickey644

    Moron doesn’t know what he is talking about, like usual. The only thing that Obama did to pull the troops out is to unsuccessfully negotiate the SOFA agreement (Status of Forces Agreement) that most countries agree to. They would agree no to prosecute American troops for breaking a law (Islamic?) and let the US Military discipline our own troops. It is amazing how spin works. I call it lying. The truth is, Obama did nothing they HAD to come out.

  • Patrick

    Why doesn’t Moran just say how he really feels. That if it were up to him a murderous Dictator would still be in power in Iraq today.

    • ArlingtonWay

      Right. Instead we have a corrupt Iranian client state. Paid for with the blood of Americans soldiers and hundreds of billons of dollars in taxpayer money.

    • OX4

      You mean that murderous dictator that the U.S. funded throughout the 1980s?

    • drax

      Hey Patrick, there are a few dozen more Murderous Dictators ™ still in power – are you saying we should invade and liberate their countries too?

      Iran and North Korea are still there – Axis of Evil, remember? Plus a bunch more. Do you think we should invade them all too? If not, why not? Are you a surrender-monkey liberal commie with the blood of innocent victims on your hands? How can you look at yourself in the mirror when YOU are willing to let murderous dictators stay in power?

  • Burger

    Moran is a moron.

    There are still over 50,000 boots on the ground in Iraq. The only difference is that US troops can not take an active role in combat.

    But, I guess the grease monkeys don’t really count as soldiers in Moran’s eyes so who cares if they are still in Iraq, He still can issue his “look at me” press release about hating the military.

  • KalashniKEV

    I find his politicization personally offensive.

    • drax

      This war was politicized before it even started. It was offensive then too.

      • KalashniKEV

        Drax… don’t go there.

        However this war came about, it does not make it right at this point in time to turn the sacrifice of those who served into an 0bama ad and a a plea for bigger government and more bennies.

        This man has no conscience, no morals, and no class.

        • RosRes

          That is a fallacious statment if I’ve ever heard one.

        • drax

          Just making the point that politicization – personally offensive politicization – of this war has come from both sides of the debate. That’s not excusing it, not at all.

          • KalashniKEV

            There is no excuse. Just because this man has no decency doesn’t make it right for anyone else line up right behind him.

            Have some respect.

          • drax

            Don’t lecture me, Kev. I explicitly stated what I said, I think it was clear, and I stand behind it.

          • KalashniKEV

            I wouldn’t expect any better out of you…

          • Lou

            Mehoo telling someone not to lecture him? Frickin’ hilarious.

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