Bush was under far greater pressure to withdraw troops from Iraq than Obama is facing with Afghanistan. At the time, Iraq was dominating the political conversation and was perceived as doing great harm to the GOP. The nation was bone-weary of the war, Democrats were in open rebellion (unlike Republicans with Obama on Afghanistan), and GOP leaders were unnerved.Read the whole thing here.
But Bush didn’t care. He made the right and wise decision – and he had the guts and the nerve to stick with it. It was not only his finest hour; it was one of the most impressive and consequential presidential decisions in modern times. Bush and Petraeus are the two individuals most responsible for keeping Iraq from descending into chaos and civil war. They turned the war around.
Responding to Wenher's post, Jennifer Rubin adds:
[T]here are many reasons to miss George Bush. There is no greater and more tragic contrast between Obama and his predecessor than in the human-rights field. This eloquent piece should be read in full, but Bush’s moral clarity on the subject and his determination to name names bear repeating:
People living in tyranny need to know they are not forgotten. North Koreans live in a closed society where dissent is brutally suppressed, and they are cut off from their brothers and sisters to the south. The Iranians are a great people who deserve to chart their own future, but they are denied their liberty by a handful of extremists whose pursuit of nuclear weapons prevents their country from taking its rightful place amongst the thriving. The Cubans are desperate for freedom — and as that nation enters a period of transition, we must insist on free elections and free speech and free assembly. (Applause.) And in Sudan, freedom is denied and basic human rights are violated by a government that pursues genocide against its own citizens. My message to all those who suffer under tyranny is this: We will never excuse your oppressors. We will always stand for your freedom. (Applause.)Read it here.