War is over if you want it, war is over now...
~Happy Xmas (War is Over), by John Lennon
War is over...if you want it. All you need to do is declare victory, and withdraw the troops. You don't need to care about whether or not that victory is actually secure, nor that others - who don't necessarily want war to be over - might perceive your victory to be in fact a sign of cowardice and weakness. You don't need to think twice about ensuring that the thousands of young men (and women) who made the ultimate sacrifice did not give their lives in vain. You don't need to worry about who will fill the power vacuum once our armed forces leave. Lord, no.
War is over... because Barack Obama needs it to be.
America’s war in Iraq came to an unspectacular and deeply uncertain end Thursday at a ceremony held amid fortified concrete blast walls at Baghdad’s international airport, not far from a highway where U.S. troops first fought their way into the capital more than eight years ago.
There were speeches paying tribute to the fallen, promising that America would not abandon Iraq and warning of challenges ahead. A brass band played, and the flag that had flown over the headquarters of the U.S. mission here was lowered for the last time.
And that was it. No pronouncements of victory, no cheers or jubilation — only a profound sense that the war’s real reckoning is yet to come even as America’s part in it draws to a close.
The only reckoning is Barack Obama's political calculation, and his need to end the war (not to win the war - good God, no!) to fulfill a promise made to his hardcore liberal base. That's why the nation's reaction to this "victory" is so desultory, so muted, so unemotional. As the WaPo article above indicates, we know nothing's over, especially not war. We simply await the dropping of the next shoe, and pray it isn't into another civilian-filled skyscraper...
A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one without any fear...