It is no distortion of fact to say a Republican president lied this nation into a disastrous, costly “war-of-choice,” using doctored and phony “evidence” to make his case. His abuse of authority brought immense physical and economic destruction to that nation and ours, cost unnecessary spending of billions of dollars and killed more than 100,000 indigenous people. Along with nearly 4,600 of our sons and daughters and another 35,000 wounded.

It didn’t just “happen” on his watch. With malice-aforethought, he and others reaped the whirlwind of disaster resulting from dishonest politics and bad decisions carried out on his watch. Deliberately.

Now, a Democrat President has made an informed but difficult decision to end that war. It’s happening because he said it would. The killing – at least of our young and the Iraqi innocent – will stop. Has stopped. Because he said it would. On his watch.

In the first instance, a President fabricated evidence and lied to start a war in a country which posed no threat to our shores and had taken no action to earn our national or military enmity. For some time, he enjoyed the trumped-up role of “defender of freedom bringing hope to a brutalized people.” He completed his term and retired to enjoy his family and fortune.

The second President, doing what he promised to do to get us the Hell out of a destructive international tragedy, is reaping mostly silence from many in his own political party and scorn from some “leaders” of the other.

Sen. John McCain – someone whose own bitter experiences in another war-of-choice have given him an often outsized voice in military matters – stood on the U.S. Senate floor this week to say “I believe that history will judge this president’s leadership with the scorn and disdain it deserves.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham – McCain’s hand puppet in all things Republican and military – called the president’s actions “shameful” and a betrayal of trust.

There were others of that ilk, quickly seeking out TV cameras to criticize the end to hostilities with ill-chosen words. Like McCain and Graham.

The only suitable, extremely accurate response to such undeserved and ignorant political posturing is a single statistic quoted widely in recent days. A November NBC/Wall Street Journal national poll asking if we should end that war and withdraw from Iraq. At the bottom of the “YES” column: 71%. 71%. Many other citizen samplings concur. Many.

It’s taken the American people nearly a decade to reach that statistically overwhelming decision. But slowly, as the war affected more families and it became clear we were wasting both treasure and lives, the opposition mounted. When people realized we could build schools, roads, bridges, housing and other institutions of democracy over there – but not over here – minds began to change.

As people attended too many funerals of young relatives and friends, minds were opened. When people welcomed home a young returning military member, scarred in mind and body forever, they re-evaluated the war. Despite the lie that this nation “owed it to the people of Iraq to help them achieve democracy,” the accumulated evidence of what our nation was suffering reached into more homes and touched more hearts.

It’s the political sheep who followed a dishonest shepherd into war that should be reaping the scorn. Not the Commander-In-Chief who took the role seriously – and honestly – made the tough decisions and took the decisive action to stop the killing. And the waste. And the loss.

None of those who committed this nation’s young to a war – from which thousands will never return – can stand in the homes of parents who received only a flag to remember a lost son or daughter and make the case that their pain and their loss were justified. None. Not one.

As we leave a country – one that long ago told us to leave – we scatter behind billions of dollars in equipment, airbases, paved roads, buildings and several hundred thousand Iraqi graves. We leave a country that didn’t invite us in and soon tired of being the battleground in a no-win war.

As one of the 71%, I ask myself what improvements – what benefits – what national honor did we reap? The answer – silence.

The president is not hearing enough from those who wanted the killing stopped. But we’re hearing too damned much from McCain and Graham and their fellow-travelers.

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