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The Last US Combat Brigade Leaves Iraq

From a cheering Associated Press:

Goodbye Iraq: Last US combat brigade heads home

By Rebecca Santana, Associated Press Writer
August 19, 2010

KHABARI CROSSING, Kuwait – A line of heavily armored American military vehicles, their headlights twinkling in the pre-dawn desert, lumbered past the barbed wire and metal gates marking the border between Iraq and Kuwait early Thursday and rolled into history.

For the troops of the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, it was a moment of relief fraught with symbolism but lightened by the whoops and cheers of soldiers one step closer to going home. Seven years and five months after the U.S.-led invasion, the last American combat brigade was leaving Iraq, well ahead of President Barack Obama’s Aug. 31 deadline for ending U.S. combat operations there

Whose “deadline”? This timeline for our troop drawdown was negotiated and put into place long before Mr. Obama was elected, let alone inaugurated. But the ‘professional left’ Associated Press must perpetuate the lie that this is all Mr. Obama’s doing.

By the way, all US troops are really combat troops.

That presence is far from over. Scatterings of troops still await departure, and some 50,000 will stay another year in what is designated as a noncombat role. They will carry weapons to defend themselves and accompany Iraqi troops on missions (but only if asked). Special forces will continue to help Iraqis hunt for terrorists.

These 50,000 soldiers will be glad to hear that they are not facing combat. Never mind the IEDs and suicide bombers.

By the way, we will still have more troops in Iraq than we currently have in Germany.

So the U.S. death toll — at least 4,415 by Pentagon count as of Wednesday — may not yet be final…

Hope springs eternal.

The U.S. military kept a tight lid on security, restricting the media embedded with the U.S. troops from reporting on the brigade’s movements until they were almost to the border.

The brigade’s leadership volunteered to have half of its 4,000 soldiers depart overland instead of taking the traditional flight out, a decision that allowed the unit to keep 360 Strykers in the country for an extra three weeks. The remainder of the brigade flew out with the last of the troops slated to leave later Thursday.

U.S. commanders say it was the brigade’s idea to drive out, not an order from on high. The intent was to keep additional firepower handy through the "period of angst" that followed Iraq’s inconclusive March 7 election, said brigade chief, Col. John Norris.

It took months of preparation to move the troops and armor across more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) of desert highway through potentially hostile territory.

The Strykers left the Baghdad area in separate convoys over a four-day period, traveling at night because the U.S.-Iraq security pact — and security worries — limit troop movements by day.

Along the way, phalanxes of American military Humvees sat at overpasses, soldiers patrolled the highways for roadside bombs, and Apache attack helicopters circled overhead as the Strykers refueled alongside the highway.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Gus McKinney, a brigade intelligence officer, acknowledged that moving the convoys overland put soldiers at risk, but said the danger was less than in past.

The biggest threat was roadside bombs planted by Shiite extremist groups who have a strong foothold in the south, McKinney said

Somehow it doesn’t quite sound like the job over there is completely done. 

But except for camels straying into the road, and breakdowns that required some vehicles to be towed, there were no incidents. The last of the Strykers rolled across the border just before 4 a.m. Thursday into Kuwait, honking their horns and waving to the small crowd gathered at the crossing.

The brigade’s leadership was on hand to greet the troops after they crossed the border and pulled into a parking lot where they shed their sweaty armor and stumbled out of their Strykers.

"This is powerful. This is exciting for me. As a commander, this means that all of my soldiers are safely inside of Kuwait and getting ready to redeploy back to their families," Norris told The Associated Press…

Still, it’s not quite departing in triumph.

Meanwhile, to the north, insurgents kept up a relentless campaign against the country’s institutions and security forces, killing five Iraqi government employees in roadside bombings and other attacks Wednesday. Coming a day after a suicide bomber killed 61 army recruits in central Baghdad, the latest violence highlighted the shaky reality left by the departing U.S. combat force and five months of stalemate over forming Iraq’s next government

Lest we forget, the name of the US military’s combat mission in Iraq was ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom.’ So the more apt headline might be: ‘Goodbye Iraqi Freedom.’

For the record, starting on September 1, 2010 the operational name will be changed to ‘Operation New Dawn.’ We will see what that brings.

By the way, the revisionists at Reuters make the same false claim about whose deadline this actually is:

U.S. on track to end Iraq combat mission

By Michael Christie Michael Christie – Thu Aug 19, 2010

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The U.S. military is holding steady in its aim to reduce troop numbers in Iraq to 50,000 by August 31, when the 7-1/2 year U.S. combat mission launched by former President George W. Bush comes to an official close

U.S. media said on Wednesday the last U.S. combat troops had left Iraq, but U.S. officials clarified there were still 56,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq, so the reduction to 50,000 non-combat troops by September 1 promised by President Barack Obama still has a some way to go

You see, Mr. Bush may have started the war.

But it took the great and merciful Barack Hussein Obama to end it.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 19th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “The Last US Combat Brigade Leaves Iraq”

  1. TerryAnne says:

    well ahead of President Barack Obama’s Aug. 31 deadline

    So, less than two weeks is “well ahead”?

    I’m still waiting for the news report that says Obama gave birth to rainbows, or that unicorns were spotted in DC.

  2. artboyusa says:

    I’ve forgotten what I really think about Iraq, since I’ve thought so many different things over the past seven years. Whether this affair was a success or not is still way too early to tell. Ask me in a century or two.

    Three things stick in my mind about Iraq. One is the woeful slowness of the US military’s senior leadership to recognise, let alone adapt to, conditions on the ground. “We don’t do counterinsurgency, so this isn’t an insurgency” was their position and we had to almost lose the war before they were willing to change. At least now no one’s leaving Baghdad hanging from the skids of a helicopter.

    Second is the blithe, almost thoughtless, way the Bush administration approached this thing. There are so many senior people, many of whom have or will make big money from their “as told to” phoney baloney memoirs, who have a hell of a lot to answer for in terms of planning, execution, management and presentation, all of which were disgraceful. All those talented, powerful people and this f**ed up bloodbath was the best they could do? Iraq was always going to be tough, they helped make it worse. Those who opposed the war aren’t off the hook either – they could have helped and didn’t.

    Last thing is this. In a bed in a VA hospital near Boston is a young man who lost 40% of his brain to an IED. He also lost 40% of his head – there’s just nothing there –it’s gone. There’s a surgical seal of some space age material that keeps what’s left of his brain from falling out of what’s left of his head. He can’t do much for himself, as you can imagine, and his mother comes to the hospital every day and looks after him as though he was a baby again. She has to feed him and wash and change him and lift him up and he’s a big guy, believe me, and she’s only a small woman.

    Ask him if this is what victory looks like. Ask him if it was all worth it. Ask his mother. The most moving thing I’ve read on S&L in the past five years was a post from someone who was an MP. He was being deployed back out there and he posted that he was now on his way to Germany to “collect my young soldiers” and take them to war. “My young soldiers…” I cried when I read those words and the tears are back again as I type these.

    The next time we ask our young soldiers to do a job so our lives of complacent luxury can continue without interruption, let’s make sure we know what we’re doing and what we’re asking. And let’s make sure we do it right.

  3. wardmama4 says:

    Let the slaughter begin – and thanks to Bush 41, Bush ‘jr’ and of course The Big O – my grandchildren will be serving in Iraq in the Gulf War III (if we are lucky) or WWIII – just because the foaming at the mouth leftists can’t and won’t fight like men for their own country.

    We never were ‘fighting’ against a religion – We were fighting against radical terrorists who happened to be islamic who are quietly supported by ‘moderate’ islam and of course the rogue regime of Iran. Iran would love Iraq to fall to ‘civil’ war – they can obliterate the Sunni muslims & the Kurds and also be one (sympathetic) country closer to the sole problem in the Middle East – Israel.

    This horrible situation in the Middle East is the only reason I support the stopping of importation of oil – Let them go broke – but then the other brain cell clicks in and I realize that they will just sell it to our enemies – and since the same foaming at the mouth leftists won’t let us drill and refine our own oil – We will be scr*wed – which if you think about it, is exactly what the left and muslims radical terrorist who happen to be islamic want.

    We (and Iraq) are in serious trouble.

  4. canary says:

    The selfish media are telling the enemy to

    “hurry, the real U.S. soldiers are at the border with no quick way out, as the leaders ordered the soldiers, even though the higher leaders weren’t ordered to order the soldiers, while of course leaders who ordered the soldiers will take the safer way out.

    And after being told over & over & over again. “you DO NOT tell the enemy when you are leaving”, yet alone tip off the enemy the exact time !

  5. Right of the People says:

    I’m sick of how we have “fought” the last 3 wars/police actions/whatever the damn left wants to call them. The only way to fight a war is all out to win and vanquish your enemy. None of this “rules of engagement” crap! All they do is get our brave men and women killed and wounded because the other side isn’t fighting by the same rules, they’re fighting to win.

    Both political parties are guilty of this, the Democraps more than the RINOs but it is only by degree of wimpiness they manage to display. I lost friends to Vietnam and some of my friends sons and daughters have been sacrificed in this latest round of stupidity. If we aren’t going to go full out to actually win a war we need to stay home.

    Wardmama I’m with you, we’re fighting radical terrorists who just happen to be Islamic fanatics but it isn’t a religious war. It’s just a war against their terror tactics. I’m for no holds barred if we’re going to fight. It’s time we start terrorizing them back. Screw what the world thinks about us since most of them hate us or are jealous of us, the same thing actually no matter what we do. It’s about time we took our sovereignty back from these savages. Black Jack Pershing had the right idea when dealing with these medieval savages in the Philippines.

  6. GetBackJack says:

    Let the slaughter begin.

    You know, if you’re a Bible believing Christian, and the vast amount of Prophecy given by God to man so that we have rock solid evidence of the veracity of The Word …. Babylon, meaning Iraq mainly, is central to the end of the aeon. I mean really really central. I mean … the ten ring in a bullseye.

    So, gird they loins. Last Act curtain going up, kids.

    • Gil says:

      While I TOTALLY agree with you that this place on earth called Iraq does have a lot of prophetic lines in the Holy Scriptures.. please remember that there have been empires grow and cease to exist for a long time. America is founded under God and so I expect God to step in as He has a plan for her NOW, but as for Iraq, the timing of the endtime process is still not revealed. It MAY be in our lifetimes, it may not. Let’s not hamstring ourselves to an earthly timetable of events that HAVE TO happen in the Middle East “now”.. we don’t know. Our part is here, to fight for our lives and values and kingdom under God. But I do not put great faith in your view of “Last act curtain going up, kids.” concerning IRAQ. It is possible there will be many generations before that happens, and certainly the Scriptures prophecy of Iraq ruling as a HUGE empire in the end days. It does not look like that now. It looks kinda weak, really, not a “terror to the nations” which are round about it.

      Isa 14:4 That you shall take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, (Iraq) and say, How has the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
      Isa 14:5 The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.
      Isa 14:6 He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hinders.

      We are not talking a power that can NOW rule the nations and oppress entire populations. America faces a crisis of epic proportions, but I cannot see we are in the last act for Iraq. This nation WILL develop all that oil.. and likely be the LARGEST oil producer in the world.. and become at least one of the richest countries on earth, so wielding that power as to RULE over nations near it. THAT will make the prophecy come true of RULING the nations… but that will take time. It is not yet. Not its rise.. nor its downfall as prophecied here. It is not likely in our lifetimes. Fight for us and our interests here and in Iraq and leave the prophecy concerning Babylon to the future generations whose proper place this will be.

    • tranquil.night says:

      The cleansing of Syria/Lebanon and then Philistia (the Gaza strip), and indeed all of the seed of the King of Babylon (interchanged in Isa 14 with Satan), actually follows Babylon’s fall and irrelevance at the time of the next phase (where he vows to rise again). The jury is still out for me on whether this prophecy is in play. If Iran decides to go on the offensive, it will be Syria and Lebanon which draw them into combat operations first.

      There’s so much I think a lot of us could bring to this discussion but we have to stay grounded in reality for the time being. For some very eye-opening and repulsive insight from the Left on this, I recommend looking up a show called Metalocalypse from, ahem, Cartoon Network.

      World War II was a near apocalypse, literally and symbolically. Right now we need to stay dedicated to not letting it reach that point again. That begins with routing the Democrat Party from control of our country. Yes we can.

    • GetBackJack says:

      Gil, apparently this touched a button for you. This is why I never argue prophecy with anyone. It is unprofitable. I would, however, suggest reading Apollyon Rising 2012 followed by the Temple At The Center of Time. For a view different than the one presented here.

      Right of People – amen. Black Jack Pershing did indeed have the right idea.

      WardMama – we are indeed fighting Islam. Fighting “terror” is like fighting a war against the blitzkrieg. That’s non-sensical. Terror, like the blitz, is a tactic, not the enemy. The enemy then was Nazis. The enemy now is Islam. Islam is not a religion, it is a death cult. Anyone who finds solace in the embrace of a death cult has already chosen sides.

  7. Move_Zig says:

    Let’s see… Iran, which has been fueling terrorism in Iraq, now smells blood in the water. Iraqi troops have been shaky and tough to train as reliable troops. Too much of a cut-and-run instinct I hear.

    US trainers, either contract or Foreign Service, will be targeted. What sort or reaction forces will there be? FLIR equipped gunships to suppress IEDs?

    Will we have to return for Act III?

    Leftists hate when the US wins, and does everything it can to hand victory to the enemies of freedom. I wonder if there will be an Act III, or just another betrayal like in South Vietnam, Southern Africa, the Shah, etc….. ?

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