Many of us have known for years that it is indeed possible to withdraw our troops from Iraq in an orderly and sane fashion in a comparatively short period of time. Any doubts that this could be done were erased yesterday when Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced that Iraq wanted American troops out by the year 2010. This is a no-brainer. If they want us out by 2010, lets get the hell out.
No one can possibly justify one more American soldier being killed or one more American bombing raid after that date. Clearly the Iraqi leaders feel they can govern effectively within two years without the current U.S. occupation. The nascent Iraqi government understands what our own government fails to realize which is that the time has come for the Iraqi people to step up to the plate and take responsibility for their own fate. After over five years of war, destruction and horror for all sides involved, what a welcome relief it is to possibly be looking at the beginning of the end.
Yet, we still must be careful not to get our hopes up too high since a lot depends on the election this November. Flip-flopping yet again on a previous quoted statement, Ultra Hawk John McCain now feels strongly that if America feels the need to stay beyond the date desired by the people of Iraq, we should do so. If that were to happen, then we would unequivocably become an army of occupation instead of liberation. Obama has all along said that withdrawal in sixteen months is a goal that this nation should attempt to meet. Now even al-Maliki is in agreement. The choice this November is not only becoming clearer but also taking on some urgency.
An important step for us to take in rebuilding our image in the Arab world would be to honor the request of the Prime Minister of Iraq. What a moment it would be for the world to witness us honorably and carefully withdrawing from Iraq in cooperation with the people of Iraq. Let's just hope that the Bush Administration doesn't mess around with Maliki and attempt to replace him. That possibility is not out of the question.
Obama has once again shown his proven leadership and vision. We have been presented with a historic opportunity to end this misbegotten war with honor and the withdrawal process should start soon.