US officials are continuing to jump on board the proclamation that the Iraq War has ended, with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates going from yesterday’s comments to a firm declaration today that we’re “not” at war in Iraq any longer.
The whole administration seems to have settled on this narrative, but the real bump in the road remains how simply untrue it is. The war is not over and for the 50,000 troops, despite official claims that they will “do an awful lot of training,” this is still very much a shooting war.
In fact while President Obama was giving his “time to turn the page” victory speech, US troops in full combat gear were taking part in an attack on a northern Iraqi village. They no doubt would have been surprised to hear that there is no war in Iraq.
Violence is on the rise, hundreds of Iraqis have been killed since the “last combat brigade” moment and US troops continue to engage in combat missions, with the subtle difference that they are never called “combat missions” anymore. Within that difference, it seems, a whole war can be hidden.