50,000 US troops will remain in Iraq "with the limited missions of training and advising Iraq security forces, hunting terrorist cells and protecting U.S. civilian and military personnel."
But, last night, the last combat troops left Iraq.
So, Obama keeps his word:
February 28, 2009:Seven and a half years after Bush launched his illegal war, Operation Iraqi Freedom is finally over.
The plan will withdraw most of the 142,000 troops now in Iraq by the summer of next year, leaving 35,000 to 50,000 behind with the limited missions of training and advising Iraq security forces, hunting terrorist cells and protecting U.S. civilian and military personnel. Those "transitional forces" will leave by 2011 in accordance with a strategic agreement negotiated by President George W. Bush before he left office.
"Let me say this as plainly as I can," Obama told the Marines. "By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end."
The cost? 4,415 American soldiers dead . 32,000 wounded. And they all died or were wounded because Bush, Cheney and the neo-cons insisted on invading Iraq looking for WMD which simply didn't exist. They ignored everything which contradicted their intention to invade and they remained stubbornly on-message as they hyped the little evidence they had in order to further their goals.
Bush: After eleven years during which we have tried containment, sanctions, inspections, even selected military action, the end result is that Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more. And he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.He even went as far as to hint that ignoring Iraq could lead to nuclear annihilation:
Bush: Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.It was all dreadful baloney, of course, as many suspected at the time. Indeed, this war was unique from almost all other wars as it managed to bring a million people on to the streets of London before a single shot had been fired. They marched because the case for war had never been adequately made and because weapons inspectors were in Iraq and were finding nothing which supported the inflated claims of the neo-cons.
But they invaded anyway.
Thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis died as a result. And yet Bush and Blair, to this day, refuse to admit that they were wrong to do what they did.