The Washington Times reports that on Wednesday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) will be introducing a “Victory in Iraq” resolution, “chronicling the success of the troop surge in Iraq and warning the new Commander-in-Chief that if he changes strategy, he takes ownership of whatever happens on his watch”:
“Our military has achieved a definable victory, and I want to tell them that America appreciates them,” said Mr. King, who has visited with troops in Iraq six times, most recently in September. “They’ve left a legacy and it’s up to the new leadership to preserve and enhance the victory they’ve achieved.”
King — who once said that Obama would turn America into a “totalitarian dictatorship” — further said that the measure should be seen as “less of a criticism of Mr. Obama and more of an encouragement that he ‘expand on the victory rather than walk away.’” King’s resolution has 30 co-sponsors. He was hoping to get to 100, but because of Obama’s announcement, the “time to move is now.”
However, Obama’s redeployment plan is doing just that. Obama himself has acknowledged that in part because of the surge, there is now a calmer security situation in Iraq that has opened up room for political progress. In his speech announcing his Iraq strategy last week, Obama made clear that withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq is part of this process:
To understand where we need to go in Iraq, it is important for the American people to understand where we now stand. Thanks in great measure to your [U.S. troops'] service, the situation in Iraq has improved. Violence has been reduced substantially from the horrific sectarian killing of 2006 and 2007. [...]
The drawdown of our military should send a clear signal that Iraq’s future is now its own responsibility. The long-term success of the Iraqi nation will depend upon decisions made by Iraq’s leaders and the fortitude of the Iraqi people. Iraq is a sovereign country with legitimate institutions; America cannot – and should not – take their place. However, a strong political, diplomatic, and civilian effort on our part can advance progress and help lay a foundation for lasting peace and security.
It’s not surprising that months after President Bush has left office, King wants to pay him a tribute. After all, in January, King joined a few other Republican lawmakers for a 40-minute tribute to Bush. “I’m here to say thank you to President Bush for the things that he has done when he’s had his steady hand on the till of leadership, and especially with our national defense,” gushed King. Watch that tribute here.