A trip with purpose: No need for all the speculation, take Baghdad visit at face value
The speculation this morning after President Bush returned from his surprise trip to Baghdad was as varied as the people who were doing the “commentating.”
Some pointed to the need for the “surprise” in the first place as a reason not to put much credence into the importance of the visit. Others wondered if the trip to Baghdad would have any effect on the president’s poll numbers — and if that might really be why he made the journey. Others simply discounted that there is any reason at all for optimism in the war of terror and called the trip just more propaganda.
Too bad so few seemed to get that this is not a battle about poll numbers, public opinion or anything else that resembles politics. At least, it shouldn’t be.
The reason to pay attention to the president’s visit to Iraq is that it is a measure of how far we — and Iraq — have come. There is a brand new country there — in a figurative sense. There are people who are able to live their lives, make their own choices, and most importantly, who are able to escape the fear of living under a terrible, despotic, cruel dictator.
There is still a long way to go before our work is done in the Middle East, but Tuesday’s visit is a chance to see that the sacrifices made so far have made an impact on a nation thousands of miles away.
That is a reason to be proud, steadfast and resolute as we begin the next stage of helping Iraq stand on its own.
Published in Editorials on June 14, 2006 11:08 AM