For the Army and Marines who lost 4,500 dead and more than 30,000 wounded, many of them amputees, the second-longest war in U.S. history is over. America is coming home from Iraq.
On May 1, 2003, on the carrier Abraham Lincoln, the huge banner behind President George W. Bush proclaimed, “Mission Accomplished!”
That was eight years ago. And so, was the mission accomplished?
Two-thirds of all Americans have concluded the war was not worth it.
And reading the description of Iraq from the editorial page of the pro-war Washington Post, who can answer yes?
“Al-Qaida continues to carry out terrorist attacks. Iranian-sponsored militias still operate, and a power struggle between Kurdish-ruled northern Iraq and Mr. Maliki’s government goes on. More Iraqis worry that, after the U.S. troops depart this month, the sectarian bloodletting that ravaged the country between 2002 and 2007 will resume.”
And not all the Americans are really coming home.
Some 16,000 will remain in the huge fortress that houses the U.S. embassy and in fortified consulates in Basra, Irbil and Kirkuk. All four sites will be self-sufficient, so U.S. personnel can stay clear of what The Wall Street Journal calls “the perilous security situation on Iraq’s city streets.