It is a matter of some relief that Barack Obama did not announce the end of major combat operations in Iraq under a banner that said "Mission Accomplished." He did it in a speech to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the most grave and sober audience imaginable. And appropriately so, after a war that should never have been fought, a war that by some estimates will cost $3 trillion before it's done (including the health care services rendered to those represented by the DAV), a war whose casualties number in the hundreds of thousands. Iraq hasn't been much in the news over the past year, but this is an important milestone — even if our mission there will continue on a much smaller scale for 16 more months — a moment for reflection and humility in the face of a national embarrassment.
There is no "victory" in Iraq, nor will there be. [...]
Coulda told ya that, Einstein.
The idea that it was our right and responsibility to rid Iraq of a terrible dictator — after the original casus belli of weapons of mass destruction evaporated — turned out to be a neocolonialist delusion. The fact that Bush apologists still trot out his "forward strategy of freedom" as an example of American idealism is a farce. [...]
It is appropriate that Obama's speech to the DAV will not be remembered as vividly as George W. Bush's puerile march across the deck of an aircraft carrier, costumed as a combat aviator against a golden sunset, to announce — seven years and tens of thousands of lives prematurely — the "end of combat operations." Obama's announcement was no celebration. [...]
One of the biggest dangers we face now is being hit by flying pundits as they jump off the Bush band/warwagon. Thanks a pile, fellas. You could have stopped this when it counted. Journalism is about digging out and disseminating the truth and it was there and some did, but most of you should forever be ashamed over Iraq.