…for security reasons the last soldiers made no time for goodbyes to Iraqis with whom they had become acquainted. To keep details of the final trip secret from insurgents — or Iraqi security officers aligned with militias — interpreters for the last unit to leave … conveyed that business would go on as usual, not letting on that all the Americans would soon be gone.
So finally, in the middle of the night on December 17, the last U.S. troops rolled out of Iraq. Still remaining are 16,000 Americans at our Baghdad embassy.
The Wisconsin State Journal editorial page has had remarkably little to say about Iraq over the years. Until a month ago when they welcomed home Wisconsin’s last troops from Iraq, we can’t recall them mentioning Iraq since their re-election endorsement of George W. Bush in 2004 when they wrote,
Inaccurate intelligence, inadequate planning and overconfident execution of the Iraq war overshadowed a fine accomplishment: Our troops toppled a mass-murdering dictator and eliminated his bloodthirsty heirs, setting an oppressed people on a path to freedom.
And a month ago, the State Journal had this tiny bit to say about Iraq again:
Would the United States have gone into Iraq had we known we would not find weapons of mass destruction, had we known that thousands of American lives would be lost, had we known more than $800 billion would be spent over nearly nine years?
Yet Iraq and the world are better off without dictator Saddam Hussein, and Iraqi citizens have a credible if cagey shot at democracy and freedom.
We’ve got to admit they’ve got a consistent talking-point.
Would they do it again? “Probably not.” Maybe they would, but knowing whatever they know now? Maybe they wouldn’t. It’s not like countries have any right not to be invaded. It’s gotta be a case-by-case decision.