Friday, August 20, 2010


When the U.S. invaded Iraq over 7 years ago, the first ground unit was the 4th Stryker Brigade which moved from Kuwait to Baghdad.  Yesterday, attempting symbolism and achieving irony, the brigade drove from Baghdad back to Kuwait as the last combat troops to leave Iraq.

The irony?  I listened to an NPR piece this morning where the commander was briefing his troops on IED locations to look out for along the road they were taking, while brass were trumpeting the "success" of the combat phase now ending.

So, President Obama has now "kept" his campaign promise to have the "troops" out of Iraq this summer.  The 50,000 remaining?  "'Part of our mission will be to continue to train, coordinate, advise and assist' Iraqi forces" according to the general in charge.  But a Marine captain said "'[c]ombat operations' is sort of a relative term.... I think some troops who remain after this date are going to see things that look kind of like combat."

At least Obama didn't swoop down on an aircraft carrier and and announce "mission accomplished." 

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