We've persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people - a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this cradle of civilization. Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility. Now, it's time to turn the page.
The United States has already experienced the danger of flawed refugee vetting as well as the potential for refugees to be radicalized once they are here. In 2011, two Iraqi refugees were arrested in Kentucky for conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals abroad in support of al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor to ISIL.
One day I am at home, watching dramatic images of Iraqi Yazidis fleeing for their lives being aired nonstop on 24-hour news channels. Days later, I am there, staring at tens of thousands of displaced Iraqis and feeling a 35-millimeter frame cannot capture the scope of devastation and heartbreak before me.
Reparations - not just aid - should be provided by those responsible for devastating Iraqi civilian society by cruel sanctions and military actions, and - together with other criminal states - for supporting Saddam Hussein through his worst atrocities and beyond. That is the minimum that honesty requires.