Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Christmas: The War Is Over

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Panetta and Chair of the Joint Chiefs Demsey "cased the colors"--put away the flag--at a military base in Iraq, formally ending the U.S. military presence in that country.  The war is over.

The day before, President Obama addressed returning (and cheering) troops at Fort Bragg:

"It’s harder to end a war than begin one. Indeed, everything that American troops have done in Iraq -– all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building, and the training and the partnering -– all of it has led to this moment of success. Now, Iraq is not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations. And we are ending a war not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home."

It is harder to end a war than to begin one.Yes, a bitter truth some of us were crying out in 2003--it is the tragic fact that letting loose the dogs of war is much much easier than reigning them back in.  So nearly 9 years of pain and waste later, at least a trillion dollars spent, hundreds of thousands of lives lost and maimed, millions of lives deformed, and our entire political process so fractured that we are unable to respond to the real threats we face, this terrible and quite possibly catastrophic war is over.

Barack Obama promised to end this war.  He did what he promised, and continues to be castigated for it in shameful terms by mad dog GOPers in Congress and running for president.  Let's hope the American people leash them up good in the next election.

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