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The Audacity of Victory: How To End a War

Over at The Tank on National Review Online, I laid out a thought going forward as Michael Yon - a straight shooting and cautious man by all measures - confidently called in from Iraq to say, "The war is over and we won."

After noting that there are a lot of people - known and unknown to the public - who deserve measures of credit for the successful strategy that made victory possible, we dare not forget one important man amid all his criticisms, due and undue.

But the fact remains that only President George W. Bush made or would have made the command decision he made. Only President George W. Bush, derided and vilified, had the conviction and determination to allow a path to victory when nearly everyone else had written Iraq — and her people — off to defeat. Call it "The Audacity of Victory."

Imagine life as an Iraqi in Baghdad or Ramadi or even Fallujah or Najaf or Baquba and all points between had President Bush relented to common popular domestic and international wisdom, opinion and sentiment and left the Iraqi people to the wolves among them, only to abandon them by "ending it," executing an "honorable withdrawal," or "redeploying" our forces. Our defeat would have been theirs ten-fold. Ask one.

Our current narrative-defining trifecta of media, political elite, and academia will surely not credit George W. Bush with achieving victory in Iraq while they are afforded the more palatable option of crediting a President Barack H. Obama with a draw-down of forces. But it is with certainty afforded by said trifecta's predictability that without President George W. Bush's steadfast determination and leadership, the events, discussion and reporting surrounding Iraq today would be horrific in nature.

The audacity of victory. You have to want it.

Those were my two cents ending the week Friday, and they're my two cents beginning this week on Monday.

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