Commentary Magazine


It Didn’t End, We Won

The President-elect gave a lovely speech as he departed by train from Philadelphia for his trip to D.C. Summoning us to take up the spirit of the Founders, he called for a “new declaration of independence.” Yes, the content of that is a bit vague, but its hard to quibble with a call to take up the work of “perfecting the union.”

Still, I do have one bone to pick. He insists on this formulation of our current war efforts: “Two wars, one that needs to be ended responsibly, one that needs to be waged wisely.” And later he spoke of  ”welcoming back our loved ones from a war in Iraq that we’ve brought to an end.” Why can’t he recognize that the war in Iraq is ending in victory? We get that he didn’t support that war. We understand he doesn’t think it was “worth it,” but with the campaign won I see nothing to be gained by ignoring reality and diminishing the tremendous accomplishments of our troops. It is churlish and unwise not to celebrate America’s success.

I hope as he steps into the shoes of the commander-in-chief the new president will celebrate and tout the achievements of those he will be leading, and not denigrate or ignore them. Not only our troops, but the country and world at large should take note of what we have done– liberated tens of millions of Muslims, defeated al Qaeda in a major battlefield in the war on terror, and demonstrated that a democracy can function in a region of the world where autocrats are falsely revered as “strong men.” The Leader of the Free World shouldn’t be ashamed of that.