Aside from trying to gain control of part of the Middle East's oil, the war on Iraq was really about securing Bush's re-election. Too many voters will fall for the adage of, "You can't change your leadership in the middle of the war. It's too dangerous." Politicians know this. The Persian Gulf War didn't last long enough to get George Bush Sr. re-elected, but that was still one of the underlying motives for getting the U.N. behind it. There are reasons to fight wars, though they are rarer than most would suppose. But engaging in war—calling in that most precious coin of our service people's lives, risking the lives of those in other countries—should never be done as a political ploy.
Today we have a new president, one who reminds us that these troubled times are not the worst our country has ever seen, and that we have faced significant challenges before and overcome them by working as one people. He reminds us that the things we do for our country and for the least of its people guarantee no glory, and never have. But the reward is undiminished. It lies in knowing that you are doing the right thing, not only because you should but because you must.
Let the work to rebuild our nation and our ideals begin.