Don’t believe me? It’s in the paper, Yo!
Somebody has to write this. The United States has won the war in Iraq.
I’m compelled to proclaim victory because, these days, winning wars has become politically incorrect in Western societies. So much so that some political leaders opposed to the war refuse to recognize the definition of victory or to utter the word.
More than five years after the invasion, I still come across people who say they don’t know what victory in Iraq means. That’s on purpose. Feigning ignorance allows them to deny the obvious political and military progress that has been made and continues to be made each day.
The truth is, President Bush has been consistent in defining victory. Bottom line, it’s leaving behind a functional and democratic Iraq capable of defending itself from internal and external threats. Iraq is on an irreversible path to meeting those goals. Even Bush has raised the specter of “time horizons” for troop withdrawal. Previously, the president eschewed timelines, maintaining that troop reduction would be dictated by conditions on the ground. Security has improved so much in the past 18 months that Bush is not only open to troop withdrawals, American forces in Iraq could actually dip below 100,000 by the end of this year, down from approximately 140,000 today.
The reason for victory is simple — the 30,000-troop surge that began in early 2007 and concluded less than a month ago has worked. The security it provided has allowed for consistent, if glacial, political progress and maturation of Iraqi national and local governance. Decreasing violence has allowed momentum in the reconstruction and redevelopment of the nation’s long-neglected and deteriorating infrastructure.
Of particular interest to Americans is Iraqi oil production. Iraq is producing approximately 2.5 million barrels a day, a tad more than its peak under Saddam’s reign. Of that, 1.7 million barrels are exported. Production is expected to reach 3 million barrels, possibly by the end of 2008. The consistently increasing output is good news for the pinched American motorist, but it’s great news for the Iraqi soldier.
Why November 22?
Several people have written in to ask what is significant about November 22; why was it chosen as the date for VI Day? The answer is: There’s nothing militarily significant about this day. There are no major events related to the Iraq War that happened on November 22. It’s just a convenient day, chosen essentially at random. Some date must be chosen, and this is just as good as any other, since there is no actual distinct date of surrender or of the war’s self-evident cessation.
Others have written in to ask: Won’t VI Day conflict with the anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, which happened on November 22, 1963? Well, I suppose it might, to those who mark that anniversary. But Victory in Iraq Day is not intended to be an annual holiday, celebrated on November 22 forevermore into the future; it’s a one-time only event, a declaration right now that the war is over right now. Not every end-of-a-war day becomes a national holiday. In fact, only November 11, Armistice Day for WWI, is still remembered as a national holiday (now called Veterans’ Day). Does anyone in America still throw a party on May 7 or 8, the days on which the Nazis surrendered, known as VE Day? Not that I now of. And the day on which WWII finally, totally came to an end was August 15, VJ Day, on which Japan surrendered. Yet there is no national holiday on August 15. And I’d wager that 95% of Americans couldn’t even tell you why August 15 was historically significant.
Considering all this, that even the victory in WWII did not become an annual holiday, it’s almost certain that VI Day will not become an annual holiday either — and thus will not conflict with any annual services marking Kennedy’s assassination. VI Day is a one-time only celebration.—Zombietime
Victory in Iraq Day: Participating Blogs