Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We Few

Presidents Bush and Talabani have joined to thank those in the Coalition who remain to help Iraq defeat the gangs, jihadis, Baathists, and Persian pawns who continue to threaten and kill even as they have been dramatically weakened:

"Mr. President, we've still got work to do," Bush told Talabani. "But there is no doubt that the situation in Iraq has changed substantially. There's no doubt that mothers are able to send their child to school without fear of carnage. Oh, there are still killers amongst your — in your midst, but your government has been steadfast in bringing people to justice who are trying to undermine your democracy."

Bush says 41 countries participated in the Iraq conflict, although that number has been dropping. According to a list provided by the White House, representatives of the following nations were being recognized at the meeting: Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Tonga, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

"I'm here on behalf of the Iraqi people to express my deepest appreciation for all countries who participated in the breaking Iraq from worst kind of dictatorship," Talabani said. "Of course, noble and responsible nations must bear their sacrifice in order to free the oppressed and bring citizens from the worst kind of dictatorship. Nevertheless, on behalf of the people of Iraq, I want to express my deepest condolences for your brave soldiers and civilians who have lost their lives while standing up for our shared values of freedom and democracy."

Yes, the Coalition is shrinking. But so, too, are the enemies of Iraq. The Coalition has lasted long enough to do the job. And as victory is achieved, those who remained have a special place in history that has been forfeited by those such as Spain who once helped but ran when al Qaeda targeted them:

From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day

Or those who fought with us in Operation Iraqi Freedom.