Thursday, December 15, 2011
4,500 lives too late
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. forces formally ended their nine-year war in Iraq on Thursday with a low key flag ceremony in Baghdad, while to the north flickering violence highlighted ethnic and sectarian strains threatening the country in years ahead.
"After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at the ceremony at Baghdad's still heavily-fortified airport.
Almost 4,500 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives in the war that began with a "Shock and Awe" campaign of missiles pounding Baghdad and descended into sectarian strife and a surge in U.S. troop numbers.
U.S. soldiers lowered the flag of American forces in Iraq and slipped it into a camouflage-colored sleeve in a brief outdoor ceremony, symbolically ending the most unpopular U.S. military venture since the Vietnam War of the 1960s and 70s.
So "ends" a war to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction it never had, toppling a brutal dictator who, in a perverse irony, was suppressing both Iranian-backed radical Shiites & the Saudi-backed Sunni terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks. A FB friend reminded us today of a quote from Ernest Hemingway:
"The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector."What does your shit detector tell you about the "end" of the Iraq War? Is it over for us? Ya think?