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It’s Time for the U.S. to Declare Victory and Go Home

Posted on Jul 30, 2009
U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy sailors return home to Hampton, Va., after a scheduled deployment in Iraq.

By Col. Timothy R. Reese

(Page 3)

The GOI and ISF will continue to squeeze the US for all the “goodies” that we can provide between now and December 2011, while eliminating our role in providing security and resisting our efforts to change the institutional problems [that] prevent the ISF from getting better. They will tolerate us as long as they can suckle at Uncle Sam’s bounteous mammary glands. Meanwhile the level of resistance to US freedom of movement and operations will grow. The potential for Iraqi on US violence is high now and will grow by the day. Resentment on both sides will build and reinforce itself until a violent incident break outs into the open. If that were to happen the violence will remain tactically isolated, but it will wreck our strategic relationships and force our withdrawal under very unfavorable circumstances.

For a long time the preferred US approach has been to “work it at the lowest level of partnership” as a means to stay out of the political fray and with the hope that good work at the tactical level will compensate for and slowly improve the strategic picture. From platoon to brigade, US Soldiers and Marines continue to work incredibly hard and in almost all cases they achieve positive results. This approach has achieved impressive results in the past, but today it is failing. The strategic dysfunctions of the GOI and ISF have now reached down to the tactical level degrading good work there and sundering hitherto strong partnerships. As one astute political observer has stated “We have lost all strategic influence with the GoI and trying to influence events and people from the tactical/operational level is courting disaster, wasting lives, and merely postponing the inevitable.”

The reality of Iraq in July 2009 has rendered the assumptions underlying the 2008 Security Agreement (SA) overcome by events—mostly good events actually. The SA outlines a series of gradual steps towards military withdrawal, analogous to a father teaching his kid to ride a bike without training wheels. If the GOI at the time the SA was signed thought it needed a long, gradual period of weaning. But the GOI now has left the nest (while continuing to breast feed as noted above). The strategic and tactical realities have changed far quicker than the provisions and timeline of the SA can accommodate. We now have an Iraqi government that has gained its balance and thinks it knows how to ride the bike in the race. And in fact they probably do know how to ride, at least well enough for the road they are on against their current competitors. Our hand on the back of the seat is holding them back and causing resentment. We need to let go before we both tumble to the ground.

Therefore, we should declare our intentions to withdraw all US military forces from Iraq by August 2010. This would not be a strategic paradigm shift, but an acceleration of existing US plans by some 15 months. We should end our combat operations now, save those for our own force protection, narrowly defined, as we withdraw. We should revise the force flow into Iraq accordingly. The emphasis should shift towards advising only and advising the ISF to prepare for our withdrawal. Advisors should probably be limited to Iraqi division level [and] higher. Our train and equip functions should begin the transition to Foreign Military Sales and related training programs. During the withdrawal period the USG and GOI should develop a new strategic framework agreement that would include some lasting military presence at 1-3 large training bases, airbases, or key headquarters locations. But it should not include the presence of any combat forces save those for force protection needs or the occasional exercise. These changes would not only align our actions with the reality of Iraq in 2009, it will remove the causes of increasing friction and reduce the cost of OIF in blood and treasure. Finally, it will set the conditions for a new relationship between the US and Iraq without the complications of the residual effects of the US invasion and occupation.


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By Rontruth, August 3, 2009 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

In addition to what you have said about little Bush and his CIA-agent buddy, bin Laden, whose actions, whatever they really were, certainly helped the Bush Crime Family’s oilly intentions in Iraq and elsewhere.

I would also add that, with the way those three WTC skyscrapers came down, that we have NOT been told the truth about the 9/11/2001 attacks by whomever with whomever’s obvious assistance (as in red-flag operations CIA-speak), that David Hagberg’s two books, “High Flight” and the year 2000 book by Hagberg, “Joshua’s Hammer,” that someone within the US knew that four aircraft would be used in exactly the same ways, along with the bunker-buster missile that hit the Pentagon, that in fact such aircraft were used, BEFORE the “attacks” occured.

Just as it was with the research into the JFK assassination over the years since Nov. 22, 1963, that have now completely demolished the Warren Commission Report to smatteroonies, so it will likely be with the research now being conducted on the 9/11 attacks.

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By Sodium, August 2, 2009 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Night Gaunt,July 31 at 12:30 pm.
Re: Anarcessie,July 31 at 10:20 am.

Night Gaunt and Anarcessie,

Because I am highly impressed by the comments of your posts referred to above concerning Iraq,I think you are the kind of posters who may be interested in reading the following book:

Marching Toward Hell: America And Islam After Iraq.
Michael Scheuer

Very brief notes about Michael Scheuer’s background and qualifications:

~ He was a former CIA’s analyst for 22 years,specializing in tracking Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network of terror,world wide.

~ He teaches a graduate-level course at Georgetown University.

~ He holds a Doctorate Degree,specifically a Ph.D. from University of Monitobia.

For further information about Michael Scheuer,please consult Wikipedia,the free encyclopedia. It should have sufficient information about him.

Thank you both for two posts whose comments are profound,indeed.

Special notes to Night Gaunt:
None of the Bush family’s wars have been won because both wars of 1991 and 2003 were based on TRAPING Saddam Hussein in The First Gulf War in 1991 and LYING to the American people and the rest of the world in The Second Gulf War of 2003:

* As the approval rating for Bush Senior had hit 90% after the First Gulf War in 1991,I felt like laughing and crying,at the same time,and said then and would repeat what I said then now: “Pregnancy for future wars or at least entropic chaotic violence,the world has not seen before,has just taken place.” And I said so publiclly for all to read and hear.

* Bush Junior has fulfilled my expectations in March of 2003 when he ordered illegally and immorally to invade and destroy Iraq,a functioning country inspite of the iron-fist rule of Saddam Hussein,or perhaps because of it.

* The two notes outlined above do not mean in the slightest way that I am smarter than others. Not at all. I happened to have some advantages stemmed from the fact that I worked and lived in the Middle East for more than 20 years. And as a result,I ended-up knowing the culture,history and language of the area,which is mainly Arabic since it is really an Arab Neighborhood,even if you add Iran,Turkey,Israel,Cyprus and Malta to it,it is still overwhelmly an Arab Neighborhood of which the Arabs numbered 320 millions and their geographical territories stretched from the borders with Turkey and Iran and across the whole North Africa. The Arab World is,indeed,a fascinating world. I must admit that I yearn,once in a while,to the years I was stationed in Amman,Jordan,managing a complex technical business,covering the whole Middle east,for an American multi-nationals corporation.

* I do concur that Iraq was the most advanced country in the area,in education(free for all through university levels),health care(free for all),emancipation of women,in industrial technology and above all it had a secular government in outlook and laws and kept Iran’s regional hegemonic ambition on leash. Most of the highly educated Iraqis have fled the country to Jordan,Syria,Egypt,Lebanon and to some European countries which was willing to help them like Sweeden. I knew many of these wonderful Iraqis due to my bussiness encounters with them. What a waste done in our names!!! 

* As far as I am concerned,all those who had instigated the invasion and destruction of Iraq must be brought to justice as war criminals. If slaughtering more than one million Iraqis,another four millions Iraqis ended-up as refugees inside and outside Iraq and more than 4,300 American soldiers killed and another 38,000 American soldiers wounded,many of them are being maimed for life-if all these evil acts are not war crimes,I just do not know what are!!!

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By GW=MCHammered, August 2, 2009 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Declare Victory and Come Home

Don’t forget the spoils.
Aunt & Uncle Sam are broke.
(but rich in denial)

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By boggs, August 1, 2009 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

There was never any intent by the Bush cabal to bring BinLaden to justice. Most of us knew that binLaden would never be captured, binLaden is the son of very close ‘oil’ friends of the Bush family. So instead Bush became a comedian over the whole situation, looking for WMD under desks and tables, he tried to erase the name of his good buddy binLaden from our memory.
This war was for nothing and we have won nothing except more hatred we cultivated in this fiasco.

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By Clark, August 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

I sincerely apologize to PROLE. I inadvertantly hit “report this”, when , in fact, I totally agree with that post. i actually thought it to be one of the best I’ve read.

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By ardee, August 1, 2009 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Sodium, July 31 at 7:41 pm #

Thanks for the history lesson. I am rather enamored of history and appreciate your knowledge thereof.

(Even though I am on a sodium free diet).....

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By anaman51, August 1, 2009 at 8:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There’s an old Arab tradition that dates back to before Islam brought the word of Mohammed to the people—-vengeance. This is a society based on the belief that if a person is wronged, retribution must be carried out on either that person or his family. This has been going on for centuries, and it didn’t stop when the U.S. got there. It did, however, become confused with what the U.S. troops have been fighting against. The fact is, the day we pull out of there, the population will once again get back to doing what they’ve done since sand was invented. They’ll start killing each other over which Islamic sect they belong to, basic family alignments, who they want to run the country, and any slight against a family member requiring reciprocity no matter how long ago it was that it took place. This is normal for the region. It’s one of the issues that the Bush administration overlooked before bumbling into Iraq on his mission to…well, whatever his mission was. We merely interrupted the order of things, that’s all. They’ll get back to business as soon as we leave, and we’ll discover that we changed NOTHING. For Bush to assume otherwise shows his ignorance in all matters Iraqi.

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By Sodium, July 31, 2009 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is a short-term illusional success to think that what the Bush administrations have done to and in Iraq is going to last. It will not last in the long-run,regardless of our current self-congratulations and regardless of what we do. That is because our mission in Iraq has been destructive,since 1991,to the Iraqis as human beings and to their country,as a sovereigrn country,rich in history and culture.

I can assure Col.Timothy R. Reese that the ultimate victors in Iraq are not going to be the current Iraqi puppet government and its corrupt Mafia.

The ultimate victors in the long-run will be those Iraqi nationalists who have not been TAINTED as American puppets or as Iranian stooges.

The long and rich history of Iraq says so. Read it to believe it. Always,Always and Always,the Iraqis had managed to kick out the invaders and occupiers.

In addition,my countless business trips to Iraq in 1970s and 1980s,on behalf of an American multi-national corporation,have made me well aware of the undercurrent of Iraqi nationalism amongst the Sunnis,Shia’a and even Kurds and Arab Christians. Remember Salah Al-ddeen Al-Ayoubi,well known in the West,as SALADIN who defeated the Crusaders in the great Battle of Hitteen and kicked the Crusaders out of the Holyland and out of the whole Arab lands of the Middle East. For those who do not know the ethnicity of SALADIN: He was KURDISH,born and raised in the town of Tickreet,Iraq and was burried in Damascus,Syria. He was NOT an Arab. You can figure out what I am trying to say here about Iraq’s history and culture.

Important Note- The correct spelling,for a singular,not Shiit but Shii and for the plural,the correct spelling is not Shiits but Shia’.

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By Allan Krueger, July 31, 2009 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

Mission Accomplished!

Wait a minute, what the fuck was our mission?

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By Anarcissie, July 31, 2009 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

‘For you youngsters, about 46 years ago John Kennedy, who wanted to get out of the stinkin sink-hole of Nam, told one of his advisors who questioned him how it could be done (and save face) said, piece-of-cake, just say we won and leave.

Afterall, D.C. doesn’t have class A professional liars/spinners for nothing - sell a war or end a war - no problem.’

You’re thinking of Senator George Aiken, Republican of Vermont (  To my knowledge, Kennedy never explicitly said we should leave Vietnam in the manner suggested, although I suppose he may have quoted Aiken (or a boiled-down version thereof).  “Declare victory and get out” is the usual formulation.  It was quite a popular idea at the time, but not among the war freaks running the government then or later.  It is more or less what Nixon did.

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By Victoria, July 31, 2009 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ground Control to Colonel Tom:

When are we going to bring the troops home from World War II?

It’s been 64 years since the end of that war, and we still have soldiers stationed in Okinawa. The Marines schlepping around in Japan have gone way, way beyond smelling bad.

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By rodney, July 31, 2009 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While we are at it we should leave Afghanistan and the 150 other countries that we occupy upholding regimes and imposing our will

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By felicity, July 31, 2009 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

For you youngsters, about 46 years ago John Kennedy, who wanted to get out of the stinkin sink-hole of Nam, told one of his advisors who questioned him how it could be done (and save face) said, piece-of-cake, just say we won and leave.

Afterall, D.C. doesn’t have class A professional liars/spinners for nothing - sell a war or end a war - no problem.

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By Gibby, July 31, 2009 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m with you prole. This Colonel Clown is no whistleblowing hero. He’s just a shill claiming to represent another side of the Neo-Con bulls**t storm so they can continue to pillage Iraq for a while longer while his corporate handlers’ contracts get hammered out. What a fraud.

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By prole, July 31, 2009 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

This is totally over the moon! Has this been posted satirically as a particularly ludicrous example of military jargon and imperial doublespeak?!! “Set the conditions for a new relationship between the US and Iraq without the complications of the residual effects of the US invasion and occupation”??? The trifling “residual effects” of two horrific assaults and a genocidal sanctions regime, an unremitting nightmare over the last two decades, to be simply shrugged off and forgotten as mere “residual effects”?!! Torture, starvation, chemical weapons, checkpoints, detention and worse - not to mention U.S. support for Saddam during all his worst crimes, prior to that - to be quickly and callously brushed aside in order to get on with the more important business, to “set the conditions” of Iraq’s new enslavement to U.S. economic and strategic ‘interests’. And to top it off, Iraq has to pay for all the lasting harm WE have caused them out of their own oil revenues?!! For in the doublespeak dementia of the imperial crusader, “The GOI and ISF will continue to squeeze the US for all the ‘goodies’ that we can provide between now and December 2011, while eliminating our role ..They will tolerate us as long as they can suckle at Uncle Sam’s bounteous mammary glands.” The imperial arrogance of such predacious sentiments is as crude as the grotesque imagery used to express it! Just who is it that’s sucking who’s tits, here?!! Welcome to the brave new world of the ‘courageous’ American ‘whistleblower’! Very similar to an Obama in the political world. Someone who gives the appearance of representing an alternative, or even an opposing view, but in reality is only serving to safely confine the choices within the broader status quo. So predictably, after you wade through all the jargon-strewn verbiage you get to the main point: “This would not be a strategic paradigm shift”, i.e.the oil still belongs to us and ‘what we say goes’! Ergo, “USG and GOI should develop a new strategic framework agreement that would include some lasting military presence at 1-3 large training bases, airbases, or key headquarters locations.”  The real problem then for our radical ‘whistleblower’ is that “the potential for Iraqi on US violence is high now and will grow by the day. Resentment on both sides will build and reinforce itself ... If that were to happen will wreck our strategic relationships and force our withdrawal under very unfavorable circumstances.” i.e. Amerika gets a black eye before the whole world. And the “violent extremists” in the American government could never abide that, not after working so hard to overcome the dreaded Vietnam Syndrome. But if all that Iraqi suffering is to be even partly atoned for, it’s imperative that the American wehrmacht must get its ass kicked. A “victory’ for Amerika is a defeat for justice and right. Only the resistance can declare victory!

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By rolmike, July 31, 2009 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

what is the insanity of “declaring victory” all about? making some armchair warriors feel good about victory on Mars? we destroyed a country, we are victorious, we destroy the world with american capitalist consumer culture? what’s next?

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By Robert, July 31, 2009 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire
And Ten Steps to Take to Do So

By Chalmers Johnson

“July 30, 2009 “TomDispatch”—However ambitious President Barack Obama’s domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch. Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it. The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment and the profligate use of it in missions for which it is hopelessly inappropriate will, sooner rather than later, condemn the United States to a devastating trio of consequences: imperial overstretch, perpetual war, and insolvency, leading to a likely collapse similar to that of the former Soviet Union.

According to the 2008 official Pentagon inventory of our military bases around the world, our empire consists of 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. We deploy over 190,000 troops in 46 countries and territories. In just one such country, Japan, at the end of March 2008, we still had 99,295 people connected to U.S. military forces living and working there—49,364 members of our armed services, 45,753 dependent family members, and 4,178 civilian employees. Some 13,975 of these were crowded into the small island of Okinawa, the largest concentration of foreign troops anywhere in Japan.

These massive concentrations of American military power outside the United States are not needed for our defense. They are, if anything, a prime contributor to our numerous conflicts with other countries. They are also unimaginably expensive. According to Anita Dancs, an analyst for the website Foreign Policy in Focus, the United States spends approximately $250 billion each year maintaining its global military presence. The sole purpose of this is to give us hegemony—that is, control or dominance—over as many nations on the planet as possible.”

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By Paul_GA, July 31, 2009 at 10:12 am Link to this comment

If the occupation of Iraq is “forever”, it will only be so until this country goes totally bankrupt because of its empire—and then the only Americans still “occupying” Iraq will be the ones in unmarked graves, who could not be brought home because this country’s government couldn’t afford to bring them home ...

Sic transit gloria mundi, one might say. Makes me think of Marcus Aurelius, Stoic philosopher and emperor of Rome about the time that empire had passed its “glorious noon”, who wrote, “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.”

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By Night-Gaunt, July 31, 2009 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

FolkTruther, the war was won it is the occupation that they didn’t win. At least the way they told us it should. Not the way they planned it to be. The stability of Iraq was lost when the USA declared war on it in 1990. A country that was one of the most Western in the region even when it was run by a preening dictator. [See Iran 1953-1979.] Women are under more duress now that they have been ‘liberated’ by Western forces than under Saddam Hussein. Ironic no? Also since 1990 over 3 million Iraqis have been murdered by the USA and its allies too and at least twice to 3X as many have been maimed. Don’t forget that, such information is generally not given or they only mention from 2003 in our Corporate Media (CMSM)in this sensitized and blinded country.

“For the Iraqi people? They lost 150,000 or more to our bombs and bullets.”FolkTruther

See above and at least 100,000 of them were killed in the blitzkreig on Bagdad alone!

“For the Americans? Oh. I know. “Only” 4,500 dead soldiers and about 36,000 wounded. Not sure how many suicides by our young who knew, but could not extricate themselves in any other way from the immoral war.”>—FolkTruther

Add to those numbers all the other injuries and deaths not directly combat related and the numbers are quite a bit higher. You need to stop using the bold faced ‘official’ numbers. Sever under counting is what they do since Viet-Nam/Cambodia/Laos debacle. One of the lessons they learned from it. The wrong lessons but then we can’t trust them.

I thought fortune favors the prepared?

The war is over but the occupation is forever. This is the next phase where most of our soldiers will be in the four mega-bases and the mega-diplomatic mission to be called forth when needed. The rest will go to Afghanistan or Pakistan or Nigeria, where ever they are ‘needed’ by the Pentagon to do the dirty deeds of the corporate elite. Such is the ongoing mission to seek out and establish control of areas in need of Western civilization and obtain needed resources. The world is their oyster.

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By Georgeindenver, July 31, 2009 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t pretend to understand all (or many) of Col. Reese’s reasons and rationale for withdrawing from the Iraq debacle, but it’s good to see a crack in the dammed-up thinking that led us there in the first place. Clearly, it will take us at least two or three generations to live down the shame that the real “evil-doers” have inflicted on our country. I am speaking, of course, of the corporate and military establishment, aided by self-serving politicians of every stripe, and abetted by a corrupted media that lost sight of its true purpose during the early years of the Viet Nam war. Can we ever regain our dignity and honor?

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By Rontruth, July 31, 2009 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

What victory?
For the Iraqi people? They lost 150,000 or more to our bombs and bullets.

For the Americans? Oh. I know. “Only” 4,500 dead soldiers and about 36,000 wounded. Not sure how many suicides by our young who knew, but could not extricate themselves in any other way from the immoral war.

For the “religious” in this country who count themselves followers of God, or Christ, or Mohammed, or Hindu, or his son, Buddha? They all teach peace and service to others. Not stealing another’s mineral wealth to keep it out of the hands of perceived enemies. Not to mention the massive profits to the few in the oil/corporate/CIA nexus, while regular humanity suffers.

For the Iraqi prisoners of war in American (or rendered to prisons where torture is the norm? Under what charges were they held, stripped of their rights, their clothing, their dignity?

For the “honor” of America in this world where America was, at one time, seen as the beacon of dignity, hope for peace through peaceful intentions and actions? That was one of the biggest American losses, if not, the biggest loss of all in the Iraq war. The Iraqi people may have had their dignity stolen from them, but they could hold their heads high.

We allowed our dignity to be ripped up, torn to shreds, to the point where today, after the last election (2008), we had, and may yet have a slight chance to regain a small part of our dignity. But, no! Instead, we have a new president, a man who represents all Americans, being goaded, having been threatened in the past campaign by young thugs, supposedly not connected to any US Government Agency such as the CIA, and whose programs for recovery are being robbed of most chances of success, frankly, because of the unseen racism that continues in our country: the refusal of Congress to fully cooperate with the elected will of the people for peace and health-insurance reform.

We need to get a new, or is it renewed sense of the common bond that once held us together, or we will, through economic downturn that profits a few hedge funds and others, lose what Bush lied when he said we went into Iraq to protect our freedoms.

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By Anarcissie, July 31, 2009 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

‘I wonder how a col. can say this publically.  It essentially states that the US has lost the war.’

I would not say that the U.S. lost the war.  Losing a war means either losing your own state (not at issue for the U.S. in this case), or failing to achieve the purpose of the war.  Probably, the main purpose of the war was to get Bush reelected in 2004; mission accomplished.  Many, many billions of dollars flowed into well-placed pockets.  Again, mission accomplished.  The probability of terrorist responses was raised, excusing further government attacks against other countries and its own people; this, too, was probably foreseen as a profitable result.  Yet again, mission accomplished.

Probably, not much more can happen in Iraq that is of any use to American war planners and other ruling-class types, so, having wrecked the country and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, it’s time to say “Mission accomplished” and move on.

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By Recovering Historian, July 31, 2009 at 6:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Since the signing of the 2009 Security Agreement, we are guests in Iraq, and after six years in Iraq, we now smell bad to the Iraqi nose.”

If you believe that it took six years for the invasion of Iraq to “smell bad”, you are delusional! And what kind of hubris would enable the US to declare victory after leaving the country’s social and economic infrastructure in shambles after the invasion and occupation? Even Machiavelli would have been ashamed of that kind of performance.

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By dihey, July 31, 2009 at 6:29 am Link to this comment


Perhaps he has read the famous treatise on war by von Clausewitz in which that Prussian general warns the king that the army does not like to wage wars for His Majesty’s foibles and adventures. In other words “Sire we may refuse and arrest you”.

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By Paul_GA, July 31, 2009 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

He makes me think a little of Major General Mustapha Kemal, who in late 1917 penned a memo for the Ottoman government in which he plainly stated the First World War was lost, and that Turkey ought to cut itself loose from the Central Powers, withdraw to Thrace (European Turkey) and Anatolia (Asiatic Turkey), and just hold those two territories and the Devil with the Empire. Col. Reese isn’t that bold, I’m sorry to say; if he were, I expect he’d be on the fast track to early retirement.

Come to think of it, he may be, just for writing THIS; Kemal, on the other hand, went on to become Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey. Fortune favors the brave, y’know.

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By anambrose, July 31, 2009 at 3:33 am Link to this comment

Like much of what was known by John Paul Vann in Vietnam in 1963 this man has both the insight and courage to tell the truth. Unlike 1963, and with what came after as experienced by far too many on all sides, it becomes clear to at least one professional only After the death and destruction is inflicted and suffered. It does provide a means to explain what really should have happened. Not Going to War There In The First Place. We’ve had 40+ years of revisionism in and out of the service academies and on the Right mythologizing that all wars are winnable if the use of American Exceptionalism is the main ingredient. Peace with Honor was a fig leaf then and declaring victory now would in effect be the same thing. We probably won’t be spared the images of fleeing people who were: “on our side” climbing a ladder into a waiting helicopter on the top of our embassy. We also have Afghanistan to worry about. We do not hear much on what that will bring and we do not hear anything about bringing Bin Laden to justice. We should use this as a learning moment to reclaim our republic and forego our Empire simply because we have not learned a damned thing and we’re likely to repeat the same stupidity in the near future.

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By Whistle Blower, July 31, 2009 at 2:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It took over a hundred thousand dead, 6+ years, and a cost that will in the end amount to over a trillion dollars before the right whistle blower stepped forward. The greatest threat to the life, liberty, and property of the people of the United States is the manner in which their government operates.

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By ardee, July 31, 2009 at 2:55 am Link to this comment

The Colonel seems to place the blame chiefly upon the Iraqis for the debacle that we ourselves caused by invading them.

Of course we need to leave Iraq, we never should have been there in the first place. We also need to end our military presence in Afghanistan as well, and put an end to our overflights and assassinations in Pakistan.

Combating terrorism against the US by continuing the actions that caused such terrorism to be born seems a guarantee of the continued health of terrorist groups. Killing them only means that others will rise up in the place of the dead, the solution lies, as it always does, in peace and prosperity for all.

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By boggs, July 31, 2009 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

We went into this so called ‘war’ with many false reasons, and no real true goals of victory.
Do we consider over a million Iraqis dead, and several million have become long term refugees, millions more with a lifetime of suffering from the physical injuries and or the mental injuries, the families we have destroyed, the hatred we have cultivated against our country, our barbaric history we leave behind from Abu garaib and other prisons, how could it be said that we have won anything but some oil contracts for some oil companies?

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By Folktruther, July 31, 2009 at 12:11 am Link to this comment

I wonder how a col. can say this publically.  It essentially states that the US has lost the war.

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