Obama Gives Early Christmas Present to Soldiers and Their Families

U.S. troops

Obama Gives Early Christmas Present to Iraq Troops

An early Christmas came to millions on Thursday when U.S. troops lowered the flag of command that flew over the Iraqi capital, carefully rolled it and cased it in camouflage in accordance with Army tradition.  The U.S. military mission in Iraq was officially declared over.

“The Iraq war officially ended, not with a final battle, but a final march home for U.S. troops,” Said President Barak Obama.  Yeah, that should raise his numbers going into the 2012 re-election. “Because of you — because you sacrificed so much for a people that you had never met, Iraqis have a chance to forge their own destiny,” Obama said. “That’s part of what makes us special as Americans. Unlike the empires of old, we did so not for territory or for resources. We do it because it’s right.”

“After a lot of blood spilled by Iraqis and Americans, the mission of an Iraq that could govern and secure itself has become real,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.

soldiers

U.S. soldiers

“Operation Desert Storm” started in March 2003. Justified by President George W. Bush on the grounds that Hussein was seeking weapons of mass destruction that he could share with terrorists such as al Qaeda, the invasion was deeply divisive in America and around the world. Hussein’s regime proved easy to topple, but no weapons of mass destruction were found, and the United States and its allies were left occupying a country where they were not greeted as liberators.  They remained until the country could settle their secular differences and come together to govern themselves by establishing first stability and then democracy.

Iraq will be tested in the days ahead, by terrorism, by those who would seek to divide, by economic and social issues and a growing concern would be neighboring Iran and their building of nuclear weapons.  It’s estimated that between 100,000- 150,000 Iraqis had died.  Some say 4 out of 5 killed were civilians, but those numbers can’t be verified.

Some Iraqi citizens offered a more pessimistic assessment. “The Americans are leaving behind them a destroyed country,” said Mariam Khazim of Sadr City. “The Americans did not leave modern schools or big factories behind them. Instead, they left thousands of widows and orphans.”

The war cost the United States nearly 4,500 U.S. lives with another 30,000 wounded, on top of the $800 Billion to the taxpayers. Only half of Americans think their nation achieved its goals in Iraq, according to a CNN/ORC International poll conducted last month. Still, 61% favored the withdrawal of all troops by the end of the year. And 68 % said they opposed the war in Iraq.

Obama Gives Early Christmas Present

Obama Gives Early Christmas Present

The last 4,000 U.S. forces in Iraq are due to withdraw to Kuwait by next week as they must be out of Iraq by the end of the month.

Senator McCain (R) of Arizona said in a press conference that Obama’s decision to withdraw troops and send our soldiers home, was strictly political.  That would be an understatement as I’m sure families of the returning soldiers welcome that decision of Obama Gives Early Christmas Present no matter what the motivation.

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