Barack Obama fulfilled another campaign pledge this week, when he announced that he was bringing the troops home from Iraq but leaving a residual force there after 2010.
This has not pleased all Democrats though. Some like Nancy Pelosi, Leader of the House Democrats, think he should bring home all of the troops much sooner.
Obama is right to be careful about getting out of Iraq, after all we were careless about getting in. So an exit strategy has to be implemented carefully and properly, making sure we leave Iraq in a better condition than it is now.
However, it does mean that Obama goes into the next General Election having fulfilled his main campaign pledge to end the war.
After all it was this promise that won him the primary in the first place and then the election. Hillary always struggled to explain her initial support for the war amongst Democrat voters and McCain was too pro-war to overcome the suspicion and anti-war sentiment amongst the electorate.
Along with Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo and dismantle the Bush Administration’s so called legal apparatus i.e. torture and rendition, it amounts to yet another repudiation of the Bush Doctrine.
Obama has been so honest and forthright about America’s failures in Iraq, I wonder why our Government is still so reticent to admit to its past mistakes.
Perhaps, it’s because Obama has the authenticity and legitimacy to talk about Iraq because he opposed it in the first place. He does not have to explain any u-turns or wriggle his way out of difficult questions like ours do. We are all guilty of allowing Iraq to turn out the way it did but Obama has his hands clean.
His judgement was right in 2003 when he was marching in the anti-war rallies and his judgement was right again this week when he sought to draw a line under the Iraq War once and for all.
This gives me confidence that when he says he wants to bring the troops home and do it properly, he actually means what he says.