The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol has some good advice for President Obama on what he should say tonight in his oval office speech on Iraq.
And I hope you would also explain that, whatever one's views of the decision to go to war, we now have a moral obligation and strategic opportunity to help a free and democratic Iraq succeed. This means emphasizing that we expect to work closely with Iraq in the future, and that we are open to stationing troops there. It means not repeating the vulgar and counter-productive emphasis in your Saturday address—"But the bottom line is this: the war is ending. Like any sovereign, independent nation, Iraq is free to chart its own course. And by the end of next year, all our troops will be home."
Of course Iraq is free to chart its own course—as is South Korea, and for that matter Afghanistan or Pakistan or, say, Mexico. But in speaking of those nations, American presidents usually express a commitment to working with them to help them in a variety of ways to help them on a course that is good for them and good for our national security.
Read the whole thing, because it will be informative to compare this with what Obama will say tonight. All indications are that Obama is still unwilling to admit that his charge that the surge would be a failure when he was a Senator wrong. And that if President Bush had followed Obama’s advice, Obama would be giving a very different speech tonight.