Commentary: New hope on Veterans Day

This editorial appeared in The Olympian.

Veterans Day 2008 takes on a mixed tone in South Sound and across this nation as troops continue to wage war against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While the death toll continues to mount, there has been a lessening of violence in recent months and Americans have elected a new president — Barack Obama — who has pledged to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq in 16 months.

For that reason, on this Veterans Day there is great hope that George Bush's horrific war in Iraq is entering its final stage.

During the arduous campaign, Obama said that immediately upon taking office in January he will give his military commanders a new mission to end the war in Iraq. Obama said the exodus of 150,000 U.S. troops will be responsible and phased in over a 16-month period.

He'll also press Iraqi leaders to take more responsibility for the future of their nation and to spend revenue from the sale of oil on the reconstruction of their nation.

Obama has said he wants to have a U.S. presence of unspecified size in place that would continue training Iraqi forces, protect U.S. interests and stand by as a rapid-response force in case of a significant resurgence of violence.

In his plan for Iraq, Obama said he'll launch an aggressive diplomatic effort to stabilize Iraq and the region with a pledge to also address Iraq's refugee crisis.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Olympian.

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