Iraq War Formally Over

It’s been winding down for months now and today it became official: the War in Iraq is officially over. The Washington Post, perhaps, summarized it most accurately:

The American war in Iraq came to an unspectacular end Thursday at a simple ceremony held on the edge of Baghdad’s international airport, not far from the highway along which U.S. troops first fought their way into the capital more than eight years ago.
There were speeches paying tribute to the fallen, promises that the United States would not abandon Iraq, vague declarations of “success” and warnings of challenges ahead. A brass band played, and the flag that had flown over the headquarters of the U.S. mission here was lowered for the last time and folded away.
And that was it. No pronouncements of victory, no cheers or jubilation — only a profound sense that the war’s real reckoning is yet to come, even as the American part in it draws to a close.

Jennifer Griffin asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta if it was worth it:

“I think I will remember this moment for the rest of my life,” he said.
“You know, it’s funny, we came into this war probably divided as a nation but I think we’re going out of it united,” Panetta continued. “I really think that most Americans really feel that regardless of why we got into this we’re leaving with our chins held high, that we have really given this country an opportunity to be able to not only govern itself, but to enjoy the hope of democracy. … I think all of us have to feel good about what’s happened.”

Most people probably have mixed emotions about the Iraq War, but we can’t ever forget the men and women who sacrificed their lives when called upon. We owe them our deepest thanks.

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10 years ago

I posted this on my blog today. The War in Iraq officially ended today. Nine years ago it started, nine years later, it ended. Nearly 4500 American soldiers died fighting The War in Iraq, tens of thousands of soldiers have been injured fighting The War in Iraq, billions of dollars have been spent fighting The War in Iraq and now, The War in Iraq is over. I suppose the polls showed that The American People preferred instant gratification, and our elected leaders delivered. Billions spent, billions made by a few connected corporations, thousands dead and for what? Ten years ago, I anxiously waited for my government to start the process of finding the people responsible for the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. I trusted the government to do the right thing, and get the bad guys, and improve our country’s security. I figured it would take ten years to finish the job, or at least finish it to the best of our ability, with the end result being the criminals that planned the attacks be captured or killed, and those that were captured held accountable for their actions. Instead, we invaded Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the attacks on 9-11. We trampled that country, tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed, Saddam Hussein was hung by barbarians, and I got to watch it on YouTube, the king’s sons were killed by US forces and I got to see the mutilated corpses in print and watch bogus “celebrations” of victory on the cable news channels. I’ve been present at a lot of weird things over the years, protests, pickets, murder scenes, fires, catastrophes’ and the like, and I have seen how a small event looks much bigger on TV, when a skilled cameraman knows how… Read more »

10 years ago

The Iraq War is the single biggest reason why I do not and most likely will never call myself a Republican. I will always remember how that party chose to use its power. At the end of the day, we are simply choosing one type of authoritarianism or the other.

Sammy in Arizona
Sammy in Arizona
10 years ago

Sadly, the Bush administration played right into the terrorists’ hands. It overreacted, plunging the country into an unrelated, unnecessary, draining war in Iraq. More importantly, Bush and his cronies attacked the very aspects of the U.S. that al-Qaeda could never touch: our freedoms and democratic principals…. And look at how the rest of the decade unfolded. Bush’s missteps left our military stretched and more vulnerable than it had been in more than 50 years, and our surpluses had turned to deficits, all while our reputation and ability to influence the rest of the world slipped.
Remember these facts:
•Bush was briefed by the CIA and was told at that time Iraq did NOT possess weapons of mass destruction.
•That briefing directly contradicted the National Intelligence Estimate Congress relied upon during the debate about the Iraq War.
•Colin Powell also relied upon the National Intelligence Estimate to argue the case for war to the United Nations. He was NOT told of the new information conveyed to President Bush either.
•Because information was deliberately withheld from the Congress which contradicted the National Intelligence Estimate, military action against Iraq was authorized
Not that facts have ever been relevant to Right-Wing-Nut talking points

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

Posted by Sammy:
“•Bush was briefed by the CIA and was told at that time Iraq did NOT possess weapons of mass destruction.”
Ever since its ascendancy under the Kennedy administration, beginning with the Bay of Pigs, the errors made by the CIA are innumerable. “We can’t talk about that because it involves national security” can cover a lot of errors. I think the “man in the street” takes them a lot more seriously than those “in the know”. Google “CIA errors” and “promotions”, apparently there is little downside to being wrong.

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