Wednesday, August 18, 2010

8-18-10; The Last US Combat Troops Leave Iraq

It's been nearly seven and a half years after the United States invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein,  but as I type these words the last combat troops are crossing the frontier from Iraq to Kuwait.

And it's an odd thing to under the radar the average citizen may not be aware that it is happening. There is coverage on the 24/7 news outlets; each of the Big Four networks is staying with their regular programming.  There are no celebrations in Times Square or Griffith Park, no fireworks and church bells ringing as in VE and VJ Days. The television news coverage has all of the elation and suspense of watching a moving van going about it's business.

There is a sense of relief, however. On May 1st, 2003 President George W. Bush made his dramatic landing on the air craft carrier Abraham Lincoln and declared "Mission Accomplished", and told the world that America had won the the combat operations against Saddam Hussein.

But the war dragged on through his presidency, and into the next. And now, thank God, it really does look like the end.

The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division is the last group to leave Iraq; our first troops set foot on Iraqi soil on March 20, 2003. Though 50,000 troops will remain behind in non-combat roles, the "Last Patrol" is leaving; but another 4,415 American men and women did not. They are the ones who lost their lives in Iraq.

The State Department announced that the last combat forces would be leaving Iraq today at about 6:00PM EDT.....

More of the story, with updates, can be found here.

I'll be back with some additional comments tomorrow.


Sue said...

It's great news. I watched it all on MSNBC, when the station broke from regular programing to bring us Richard Engel(I love him)and Rachel Maddow. It was emotional to watch and I just hope the 50,000 that are staying will come home also sooner than later. Do we have to be like Germany and have our men on Iraqi soil forever??

BTW, I didn't see any reporting on Fox...

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Sue- Some of the best comments of the night came from Col Jack Jacobs. When asked about (paraphrasing here) a completion of the mission, he said the United States hasn't really completed the job in any military conflict since World War II.

And he's right...a limited war will always yield limited results. And that's the way it's always been historically every time the United States, Britain, whatever country, tries to fight a war without clear cut objectives. World War II resulted in the destruction of Japan and Germany, but saw them reborn (with aid from the America and the West) into economic powers and true democracies.

In answer to your question about our troops staying there forever as advisers and trainers...probably we will.

In my opinion, the only way that doesn't happen is if the country erupts into another civil war, and we leave like we did in Vietnam, two years after our combat involvement ended.

I'll have more complete thoughts on this later.

BTW....And I never watch FOX. I don't want to risk throwing a shoe through the TV gets expensive.

Naughty Girl Guide said...

Let’s just all hope for the best. That not that the United States find peace in the as they say the capture of Saddam Hussein, but for the world as well. For me, it’s not important if we heard it over teevee or radio, as long as everything is in peace.

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