I would like to (as I often, I know, do) disagree with our esteemed President. I don't believe the beest tribute to our fallen soldiers is to finish the missions we've started. I believe the greatest tribute we owe our fallen volunteers is to define the mission concretely so that we might possibly be able to accomplish it.
According to the article linked to above, Mr. Bush had this to say today:
And we must honor them by completing the mission for which they gave their lives, by defeating the terrorists, advancing the cause of liberty, and building a safer world.
Besides the fact that in this quote Bush is essentially saying that the Mission has not been Accomplished in Iraq, this sound byte is not particularly helpful or informative. Any time this administration is pressured to reveal when it will start sending troops home from Iraq, they say they won't commit to any timetables. Fine, okay, great. How about this then: What circumstances (concretely, with no abstract ideals) must be present for us to either (a) leave Iraq or (b) vastly reduce our troop levels there?
And why is that question impossible to answer? Becuase if the answer is "when insurgents stop attacking us" than the real answer is "never". If the answer is "when the Iraqis can defend themselves" than the next question is "what constitutes the Iraqis can defend themselves"? Etc. Bush owes us all answers on these questions, and I think even supporters of our Iraq war can support me on that.