Nearly nine years after the start of the controversial invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein and sparked years of violence, Panetta told Iraqis “Your children will have a better future”, and said the US and Iraq would have “a new relationship rooted in mutual interest and mutual respect”.
“We are not about turn our backs on all that has been sacrificed and accomplished in Iraq,” Panetta said.
“Iraq will be tested in the days ahead by terrorism, by those who would seek to divide, by economic and social issues … by the demands of democracy itself,” he said, while adding that the US would be a “committed friend and … partner” to the country.
In the spirit of dreaming up ridiculous analogies to depict America’s attitude toward its former colonial ward and now client state, Iraq, here’s one that occurred to me when I heard a clip of the speech quoted above on the radio this morning. America is like a home invader who, after setting your house on fire and killing your husband (or wife, depending on your preference) and shooting your dog, moves in and forces you to marry him at gunpoint, whereupon he tortures your kids, shoots your cat, hires a bunch of contractors to fix the place up but instead they cash the checks and take off before finishing the job, and then, when he decides he’s finally had enough, he leaves, though before leaving, he pauses on the front lawn to tell you how much better off you are now than before he burned your house down and to announce how dedicated he is to your special friendship and to promise to come back any time if you ever need any more help with anything, really anything, and then he jumps into his already-running bright yellow Hummer and speeds off, spewing a cloud of exhaust fumes in your face.
According to David Brooks, the U.S. government’s little nation building exercise in Iraq worked because, among other reasons:
…833,000 Iraqis had phones before the invasion. Now more than 1.3 million have landlines and some 20 million have cellphones. Before the invasion, 4,500 Iraqis had Internet service. Now, more than 1.7 million do.
Brooks admits, though, that the “success” is “fragile and incomplete.” Thus President Obama will have to be straight with the country in his upcoming speech and acknowledge that the U.S. can’t withdraw completely from Iraq lest we squander “an American accomplishment that has been too hard won.”
What makes Brooks more despicable than even the most rabid war boosters is that he attempts to bring an air of reasonableness to the whole sordid business. Instead of frothing about freedom-hatin’ “Islamists” who need to be killed before they kill us, he tells us, in his characteristically bland and mild-mannered tone, how many more Iraqis have internet access. Well, at least he didn’t raise his voice! Here we have a morally bankrupt cretin, an apologist for murder and conquest on a grand scale, in the guise of an insurance agent.
I’m sure all of the Iraqis whose friends and family members were killed by the forces of liberation will be glad to hear that their loved ones didn’t die in vain, that their deaths resulted in much-improved phone service and were a boon to America’s self-esteem.
The last U.S. combat brigade has left Iraq, says NPR:
The U.S. military presence in Iraq took a symbolic turn Thursday as the last full Army combat brigade left the country, ahead of President Obama’s end-of-the-month deadline for ending combat operations.
So that means no more fighting in Iraq, right? Well, not exactly:
The departure doesn’t mark the end of the U.S. military presence, however: About 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq through the end of next year. The troops are officially there in an advisory role, but will carry weapons to defend themselves and will join Iraqi troops on missions if requested.
So even though there are no more combat troops in Iraq the U.S. military will most likely still be involved in combat operations in Iraq? Kinda, yes:
“‘Combat operations’ is sort of a relative term,” [Marine Reserve Capt. Peter Brooks] said. “I think some troops who remain after this date are going to see things that look kind of like combat.”
Symbolic, indeed. Of course, for some Obamanoids, no amount of blatant manipulation is enough to diminish the total awesomeness of the “prez” for living up to a meaningless campaign promise.