Hawks Should Applaud Iraq Speech
The president showed respect for a war he opposed
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2010 1:54 PM CDT
President Barack Obama reads his speech for photographers after delivering a primetime televised address marking the the end of combat mission in Iraq from the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Even the staunchest Iraq war supporters had to be happy with the speech Barack Obama delivered last night to mark the end of combat operations, writes William Kristol of the Weekly Standard. “President Obama opposed the war in Iraq. He still thinks it was a mistake,” he reasons. It’s unrealistic “to expect the president to give the speech John McCain would have given.”

“In sum, the president seemed to me to go about as far as an anti-Iraq war president could go in praising the war effort,” Kristol concludes. He praised the military, rather than the Bush administration, for the war’s achievements, “but that was both understandable and even, in a way, appropriate.” He reaffirmed America’s commitment to Iraq, and portrayed the seven-year mission as a sign that America, in Obama's words, “intends to sustain and strengthen our leadership in this young century.” This was good stuff—“about as good as we were going to get.”