Not the Ends of the Tunnels, But You Can SEE the Lights

from here, I reckon. US Combat troops have departed Iraq.
But maybe the light at the end of this tunnel won’t turn out to be an oncoming train after all. Meanwhile, a mile under the Gulf, BP is messing with the capping stack on that well again. If you’re into prayers, a plea to your particular deities that they don’t blow the thing wide open again wouldn’t be amiss, methinks.

explosions in Baghdad

The beginning

I”ve spent a pretty emotionally overloaded evening watching Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and Richard Engel covering the withdrawal of the last full US Combat Brigade from Iraq tonight. There are 6,000 combat troops left in the country, through 30 AUG 10, and 50,000 will remain as advisors and assistants, in a training role, through the end of 2011. Rachel Maddow — winner of the Cronkite Award! — has never struck me as more beautiful, despite clearly being exhausted, as she did tonight in Baghdad.
I was in a hospital bed when “Shock and Awe” started. It’s all but eight years later, and the GIs aren’t leaving with the pyrotechnics and the scream of aircraft they came in on; they’re rolling out in trucks and specialized combat vehicles, and it’s eerily quiet.
crossing into Kuwait

Convoy exits -- Photo by Associated Press

It isn’t going to be the “Green Zone” anymore. It’s “The International Zone.” The mortars are still falling. The nation still hasn’t figured out how — or if — it’s going to govern itself. (Hi, Iraq. Welcome to democracy. It’s a mess, but it’s still better than any other government people have ever tried.) It’s possible that Iraq’s next war will be with Iran (those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it).


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