This stumbling finish to the end of the Iraq war feels like the end of the college football season: inconclusive, no clearly declared winner, no closure or finality, and will stumble forward despite the declaration of The End because there’s too much money in it not to. And as Iraq is planning to buy $13 Billion in arms from the US, it’s a Federal jobs stimulus program, too.*
I recommend this article on the New Yorker, a Date that will Live in Oblivion:
What President Obama called the end of the combat mission in Iraq is a meaningless milestone, constructed almost entirely out of thin air, and his second Oval Office speech marks a rare moment of dishonesty and disingenuousness on the part of a politician who usually resorts to rare candor at important moments. The fifty thousand troops who will remain in Iraq until the end of next year will still be combat troops in everything but name, because they will be aiding one side in an active war zone. The proclaimed end of Operation Iraqi Freedom has little or nothing to do with the military and political situation in Iraq, which is why Iraqis were barely aware when the last U.S. combat brigade crossed into Kuwait a few days ago. And for most of us, too—except, perhaps, those with real skin in the game, the million and a half Iraq war veterans and their families—there’s hardly any reality or substance to the moment.
* Suck it, US Census.