On the military front we have won two significant victories. One was in Afghanistan where we destroyed the Taliban and Al Qaeda's command and control network. The second victory was in Iraq where, by toppling the Sunni dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and creating the embryonic infrastructure of a democracy, we set in a motion a chain of events that could lead to a major strategic advantage for us and for the West. This advantage emanates from the forced political equilibrium that can be brought to the region and Iraq itself now that Saddam has been dispatched. The deep schisms in Islam will force countries in the region to impose this equilibrium. Our continued presence in Iraq as the referee in a civil war inhibits this development.
In his speech to the nation on the war in Iraq, the President said he was establishing a "November benchmark" for the Iraqis to complete the task of controlling all provinces of the country. This should be more than a benchmark. I believe it should be used as the time frame for our disengagement from Iraq.
We have purchased an oppportunity for Iraq and the entire Middle East with the blood and treasure of America. It was a noble endavor for which all who served can be immensely proud. It is now time to see if the Iraqis can take advantage of the opportunity and "keep" what has been so dearly purchased.