After seven-plus years, one trillion dollars, the loss of 4,400 American and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, the U. S. media widely reported the "last"
U.S. combat brigade left that devastated country last night. Some media
were astute enough to use the far more accurate "drawdown" to a mere,
still heavily armed 50,000 troops. Some also noted the move came a day
after a suicide bomber killed 59 people, and Iraq's two main political
parties failed to reach agreement on forming a government. Or that
private contractors will now double there. Or that huge uncertainties
about Iraq's future remain, including its capacity to provide even
basic services - like electricity - to its ravaged population. Most
alarmingly, even federal officials were more conscientious than the
media about calling it what it was - a "historic moment," with a whole
lot of "but"s. Shiny new moniker notwithstanding, we'd add: It's one long-overdue step in a grievous process that should never have begun.
"This is a transition. This is not the end of something. It's
a transition to something different. We have a long-term commitment to
Iraq." - US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley