An American soldier upon leaving Iraq as part of a partial troop withdrawal convoy, (with television cameras on) was heard to yell, "We won. It's over! America we brought democracy to Iraq."
Needless to say, this writer was glad to see him and his buddies coming home. As to his exhilaration with all its well intentioned effusiveness, that unfortunately was more than slightly off the mark.
If ever there was a war that didn't need to be fought it was this one.
If anyone believes we have brought democracy to Iraq, where the ethnic and sectarian factions have miraculously been reconciled into a functioning democracy they are living in a fantasy world that does not resemble the reality. More than five months since an election was held to select a new prime minister and a new government, there is essentially a stalemate. The apparent winner, former Prime Minister Ayed Allawi has been unable to piece together a coalition that is acceptable to the other factions, particularly those connected with his primary challenger, outgoing P.M. Nuri al-Maliki who has questioned the election results. The resulting rudderless interim of a non functioning government is being exploited and has emboldened terrorist extremists to ramp up their indiscriminant bombings against innocent Iraqi's who are understandably distraught and sickened by the current lack of security. Many Iraqi's feel they were safer living under the regime of Saddam Hussein as opposed to the carnage they are forced to live under now.
Remember, we were the ones that are responsible for bringing in that carnage for we were the ones that invaded the country, disbanded the Iraqi military that instantly created the insurgency against us that became the catalytic agent that brought in the al Qaeda type crazies into the country to sow their destruction and chaos that didn't exist during Saddam's reign.
That is the legacy of our unlawful invasion along with our utterly incompetent occupation.
We brought the present tragedy onto the people of Iraq or more specifically Bush and Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz et al, the architects of this needless war who remain free and unburdened by their despicable actions, never being held to account for perpetrating the disaster that is Iraq today.
This is a stain on the U.S. that isn't going to begin to be washed clean by some partial withdrawal of our combat forces.
Fifty thousand troops remain in the country, so the "withdrawal" is a fantasy, a ruse that somehow brought the likes of Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann in as commentators and who allowed themselves to be used as cheer leaders during last week's withdrawal charade.
We haven't left Iraq. That won't be accomplished until we withdraw all our troops and shut that monstrosity of an embassy in the green zone.
Viet Nam is the lesson we need to heed. We left completely, the Communists took over (no "dominoes" fell) and the country eventually healed itself, reconciled with much difficulty (unfortunately not without reprisals against those who sided with us during the war) but that country was made whole again by the Vietnamese themselves, proving our war in Viet Nam was not only unnecessary but 50,000 American GI's died for nothing.
Nobody knows the eventual outcome in Iraq. That is still to be played out.
But one thing is clear to this observer, our presence not only has not only brought shame to us but it prolongs the time when Iraqis themselves can eventually try to make their country whole. However it turns out they will be the better for it, doing it without the American presence.