This week marks the eighth anniversary of the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In liberating the Iraqi people from a cruel and sadistic regime that had the means and desire to commit mass genocide, used biological weapons against its own people, and offered aid and safe harbor for terrorists, the United States Military made us safer by removing a great evil from the world. Our soldiers brought justice to Saddam Hussein, a ruthless dictator who added horrific phrases to the American lexicon like “rape rooms,” “child prisons,” and “human shredding machines.” Our brave men and women in uniform performed valiantly and we should all be thankful for their sacrifice in the cause of freedom.
America prevailed in Iraq because of the professionalism and selflessness displayed by our all-volunteer military. The mainstream media will ignore the heroism of our troops during their retrospectives this week, but we want to remind Americans of their courage and honor. The film Perfect Valor is our tribute to the heroes of the Iraq War. Narrated by Senator Fred Thompson, the award-winning film focuses on Operation Phantom Fury, the 2004 fight for control of Fallujah, Iraq, when American troops battled through a city of enemy insurgents, and fought house to house and street to street to seize control of the most dangerous city in the world. Perfect Valor vividly illustrates the courage our men and women in uniform display on the battlefield each and every day.
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In Perfect Valor, we meet a Navy Cross recipient, recognized for extraordinary gallantry under fire during the assault on Fallujah. We listen to the family of a fallen Marine as they tell the story of their sacrifice. We hear the harrowing tale of a battalion surgeon who risked his own life to move an aid station forward, into the middle of the fight – a decision that saved thirty lives. These brave men and women answered the call to serve. They deserve to be honored, and their stories deserve to be told.
But many on the left, including President Barack Obama, wanted to turn their backs on our troops and let the sacrifices made in battles like Fallujah go in vain. For President Obama, politics didn’t stop at the water’s edge, he supported abandoning our troops by defunding them during wartime and leaving Iraq before the job was done. He wanted to cut and run just before the successful surge was orchestrated by General David Petraeus.
In January of 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama, introduced the Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007; which had a hard withdrawal date of March 31, 2008, for all combat brigades. President Obama introduced the legislation so he could curry favor with the Left’s antiwar faction in the 2008 presidential election and said, “It is time for us to fundamentally change our policy. It is time to give Iraqis their country back.” If President Obama had gotten his way, Iraq’s sectarian violence would have spiraled out of control, and, far from restoring the country back to the Iraqi people, could have very well handed it over to foreign elements of al Qaeda to use as a terrorist base.
Thankfully, President Bush and his commanders did not cave in to pressure from liberals in Washington and the mainstream media to pull out. Our brave men and women in uniform proved through the surge that they could get the job done and put Iraq on the right track, much to the chagrin of the Left. The tide turned in Iraq when the insurgent forces realized the United States was committed to the fight, rather than setting arbitrary withdrawal deadlines, and would support the newly elected Iraqi government, instead of leaving it to dangle in the wind. Ordering the surge took the kind of political courage that President Obama knows nothing about and would never have the fortitude to achieve.
Just eight years ago brave Americans began risking their lives to fight for the freedom of the Iraqi people and help secure America against an intolerable threat. We must never forget the sacrifices they and their families have made in service to our nation. America is a great country because we have young men and women willing to sacrifice for something greater than themselves – freedom.