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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Griper Blade: A War that Broke Two Nations

Combat troops withdraw to Kuwait
The war in Iraq is over -- except that it's not. Last night, the last combat troops rolled out of Iraq, entering Kuwait on their way home. "Operation Iraqi Freedom" has come to a close, even if our presence in the country is ongoing and active. "The remaining 50,000 troops are viewed as trainers and logistics support to the Iraqi government," writes Juan Cole. "But they include special operations units, helicopter gunship crews, and other war fighters who are still going to be engaged in combat but will not be categorized as being in Iraq for that purpose. Iraq has no air force to speak of, and the US will be providing the air support until at least 2018." This time, no one's being stupid about it; no "Mission Accomplished" banners hang anywhere, there are no "WAR OVER!" headlines in newspapers or crawling along on cable under the chins of talking heads. It's just a quiet, orderly, incomplete withdrawal from a nation we had no business occupying in the first place. Cole writes of the "true significance of Thursday's last convoy":

...It is a symbol of a turnaround in US policy, a repudiation of the Bush administration doctrine of preemptive war. "Preemptive war" is a euphemism for the rehabilitation of aggressive war, which the world community attempted to abolish in the United Nations charter. While many blame Obama for escalating the Afghanistan War, that war at least grew out of the al-Qaeda attack on US soil, which was planned out in Khost and Qandahar, and it has the backing of the UN and of NATO, which invoked article 5 of its charter (an attack on one is an attack on all)...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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