Happy Fourth for us, and Happy "National Sovereignty Day," in Iraq--as June 30th was declared as American combat troops "withdrew" from the major cities. The Yankees are going! The Yankees are going! What a colossal FRAUD. I'm tempted to go unpatriotic here, and brand both holidays as shams--ours because this July 4th as in 1776 we find ourselves very UN-independently entangled with, and even tyrannized by foreign powers in the Middle East (this includes Israel). But I won't. As for their so-called step toward Iraqi independence? Odoriferous Bullshit! All of this foofoorah reminds me of Dubya's several semantic feints at "withdrawals" that never were. We ended up "surging" (Orwell-speak), instead. Hauntingly, all of this reminds me, too, of LBJ's and Nixon's dilatory "pacification" and "Vietnamization" policies that never ended that miserable military epoch but with a sputtering "cut and run" under Ford.
The sad facticity is that these troops are simply deploying from the cities to the suburbs, and like a county sheriff, they will remain on call to rush in with six-guns blazing. And they'll have to. Here's a bit of anecdotal "inverse proof" that this just ain't gonna work: the mother of a North Carolina soldier (a Nat'l. Guardsman) rejoiced in a local TV interview yesterday that her son may have a chance to come home. But at the same time, against her own self-interest, she was stunningly skeptical. "They aren't ready. I'd hate to go through him coming home and then have to go back again." Most all the experts would agree with her indirect, from-the-heart assessment of the situation. She just wouldn't have used the word "bullshit."
Not only are these troops not REALLY leaving the cities, other military personnel are NOT really leaving the cities. According to the NY Times, unknown numbers of "contractors" (mercenaries) and advisers will stay. Who's gonna notice, after all?--the Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA) signed by the Iraqis allows the US to occupy the country indefinitely, and to intervene when any external or internal threat arises. C'mon ... it's still full-scale WAR. Cut it any way you like, we've still got 130,000 soldiers over there killing Muslims and Kurds, women and children, and, on occasion ... themselves.
The "festivities" celebrating the non-event were just as bogus. Again, according to the Times, the Iraqi "people" being sovereign-ated weren't even there. Within Baghdad's restricted Green Zone, the only party-goers in sight were cops, military, dignitaries of whatever ilk (I'm paraphrasing), and reporters. Big whoop ... in other words. In fact it borders on the macabre. Rather it might as well have been a festival on the order of the Latin American "Day of the Dead"--a "celebration " of the hundreds of thousands killed, maimed, tortured, and refugeed as a result of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.
The only good way to "withdraw" from a Vietnam or an Iraq is to have already done it. To that end, I'll invoke the old mantra that is forever relevant: BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!