Rep. Mike Pence (IN) published a powerful piece in today's Washington Times. "Give Credit Where Credit's Due" covers the history of the war and specifically, the troop surge in Iraq. Give it a read before listening to President Obama's speech tonight -- and keep in mind some of the telling details Pence writes of in this piece. Here is an excerpt:
Despite public opposition and criticism in the press, Republicans in Congress stood with our soldiers, again and again, supporting the surge and providing the resources they needed to complete the mission.
House Democrats voted 11 times to implement artificial timetables and tried repeatedly to impose unrealistic conditions on military funding that would have amounted to cutting the funds to our troops in Iraq. They were ready to forsake the fledgling security efforts of Iraq's own forces and abandon an infant democracy to the embrace of brutal terrorists.
As senators, Barack Obama and Joe Biden were among the voices calling for a premature withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. To make their point, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden even voted to deny necessary funding for our troops. They also voted 10 times to impose a dangerous timetable for withdrawal that only would have increased the resolve of our enemies.
It also is important that history record that then-Sen. Obama opposed the surge strategy as soon as it was announced. He claimed that instead of reducing violence, the surge would make things worse and no amount of additional troops on the ground would "make a substantial difference." After Mr. Bush's 2007 State of the Union speech, Mr. Obama told an interviewer, "I don't think the president's strategy is going to work."