According to the officials, within the past 30 days, 30 U.S. military bases have either been closed down or handed over to Iraqi security forces. A total of 150 bases have been shut down or turned over to Iraqis in the past nine months.Now, to be clear, I have supported the war, including the successful surge, consistently and undeniably. But there needed to be an end game. We are not nation builders we are democracy builders. The people of Iraq need to fend for themselves. And after the wounds have heeled, and the leg mends, the crutches need to be tossed.
Despite the withdrawal, many U.S. military forces will remain in the cities, embedded with Iraqi forces as advisers. They would also act as liaison officers who would be able to summon a U.S. military rapid reaction force if needed -- or also call in U.S. military air strikes.
This is our moment to shine. To show the world that we are not there to impose our will but to encourage others to take responsibility for themselves. The Iraqis are a new people, and a new nation, with a bright future ahead. Lets hope they take advantage of this opportunity to show the rest of the region that secular violence is not a path to success.
Now, Iranian influence is a major concern, and even thought American troops are withdrawing, that down not mean we are abandoning the region. Or work is not done, and with one eye on Afghanistan, and the other on Iran, we will still be busy. But with the successes on display in Iraq, another baby step has been made, and another opportunity exists to rid ourselves of evil.
Thank you President Bush, for making the difficult decisions necessary to protect the Iraqi people, and make our country safe. Thank you President Obama for recognizing Our work there is almost done. Now it is time for the Iraqis to rally around their new found independence and show the world it was worth every life that was sacrificed.