And today, the Denver Post gave voice to that sentiment in an editorial, "Bush should finish what he started." It said, in part:
"If U.S. troops are still in Iraq in 2009, will a large number of them still be dodging improvised explosive devices, or will a small force be on bases, advising Iraq forces? (Similarly, it's unclear what the president meant last week when he said Iraqi forces would be responsible for 'more territory' than the U.S. by the end of this year.) ... And the president's larger task is to finish what he started - not to leave it to the next president or create more uncertainty for the government and people of Iraq."
Yes, World War II, Korea and Vietnam spanned several administrations, but Bush has not yet convincingly explained the importance of remaining in Iraq for 3 or more years. He hasn't even set out a clear plan for what will happen in his last 2-plus years of his Administration, so it seems imminently unfair for him to hand this thorny problem to the next American president ... who will likely be the candidate who promises the clearest, smartest exit strategy.
Should American troops be pulled without regard to the consequences? No.
Are there reasons they should stay? Probably.
Should the President explain better the need for keeping them at risk? Absolutely.
Will he? The president has shown little inclination to be open about his decision-making, and unfortunately, it's unlikely he's going to start now.