By Scott Cavanagh
Behind the blast doors of a heavily fortified compound in Baghdad, the U.S. military officially ended its mission in Iraq on Thursday. The brief ceremony, attended by no senior members of the Iraqi government, brought to a close the longest and most expensive war in the nation’s history—one that cost the lives of nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers and over 100,000 Iraqi civilians. Another 32,000 brave young men have been wounded and over $800 billion in national treasure squandered--all for the removal of a third-rate dictator in charge of an army we crushed in a week and who posed no threat to our national security, had no involvement in the 9/11 attacks and possessed no weapons of mass destruction.
Nine years after former President George W. Bush declared “Mission Accomplished," gun battles rage in the streets of a country at the mercy of an emboldened Iran—one no longer countered by Saddam Hussein’s army and threats of advanced weaponry—while our soldiers leave for home under the cover of darkness and heavy security. The architects of this fiasco should be in prison.
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