A war concocted on a false premise.
More than 100,000 lives lost.
More than 35,000 Allied troops injured.
A cost of $800 billion.
Nine years of conflict.
Ongoing insurgent threat.
“To be sure the cost was high — in blood and treasure of the United States and also the Iraqi people,” US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta told the roughly 200 troops and others in attendance at a ceremony to mark US withdrawal. “Those lives have not been lost in vain — they gave birth to an independent, free and sovereign Iraq.”
The ceremony itself was tucked into fortified corner of Baghdad airport, ringed with concrete blast walls. And on the chairs — nearly empty of Iraqis — were tags that listed not only the name of the VIP assigned to the seat, but the bunker they should move to in case of an attack.
Independent, free and sovereign?