Iraq war has 'ended' but word 'victory' is averted

16:01, September 02, 2010      

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President Barack Obama formally announced that "American combat mission in Iraq has ended" in his Oval Office Address at the White House Tuesday or on the evening of August 31.

President Obama focused on the topic of economy throughout his speech. He said it is good to both Iraq and the United States to end the war." We have spend over a trillion US dollars at war" (in the past few years), often financed by borrowing from overseas," and paid a significant price, he said, and he told an American public that it is high time to "turn the page" on the war in Iraq, to readjust resources and invest more in the U.S. domestic economy and maintenance of its long-term competitive power.

The Iraq War was a military campaign that began on March 20, 2003, with the invasion of Iraq by a multinational force led by troops from the United States and Britain.

Obama noted that more resources will be transfer to Afghanistan and Pakistan; he also said that" our combat mission is ending but our commitment to Iraq's future is not." At the same time, he reiterated that the drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan is invariable as the endless state of war does not comply with American interests.

Official comments in the United States have tried to avoid relating the "end of war operation" to its "victory". According to public opinion analyses, to avoid using the word "victory" is definitely for the fear that people will associate the what former President George W. Bush declared on the "mission accomplished" for Iraq seven and a half years ago, in May 2003, within two months from the launch of the Iraq War, which was followed by a "turmoil" inside Iraq, with the war mire into which the United States sank. Besides, the realistic situation in Iraq today is also very difficult to describe with the word "victory".

Speaking of the strategy, George Bush dispatched troops to Iraq with insufficient evidences in a hope to re-mould a Middle-East political domain and foster a pro-West power, but Iraq remains bogged down in a political crisis to date. And critics predict a possible surge of military attacks with a grave menace to Iraq's security situation in the wake of the U.S. troop drawdown.

Many Americans at home are now suspicious of the opportunity for "ending war operation" as President Obama has announced and U.S. servicemen are drawdown at the time when violence in Iraq is escalating and the Iraqi government was difficult to bring forth; this will give rise to unrealistic expectations of the public for the Iraqi situation, which was identical or similar to the situation at the time when former President Bush hastily declared the "mission completed" in 2003.

As far as President Obama is concerned, he found it very critical to announce on August 31 the completion of combat duty in Iraq. As an expression to demonstrate the fulfillment of his president race pledge and to help condense the resolve of his voters, Obama met with war veterans, visited a military hospital and send Vice-President Biden on a mission to Iraq. But Obama has more campaign pledges to fulfill than the troop drawdown alone, and the exceedingly high unemployment rate and stagnated economic growth are main topics of concern to his voters, nevertheless.

The prolonged Iraq war has provoked extensive, in-depth introspection or reconsideration of American media: Has the United States "won" or "lost" the seven-and-a-half-year war in Iraq? Most people believe that the correct appraisal of this war could possibly be made to a decade later; the reconsideration on the war will last a fairly long period of time and its outcome could impact the U.S strategy in wielding its military might globally.

With the completed drawdown of U.S. troops, Arab media have queried these days what scars the war have left on Iraqis, and what was the significance of the Iraq war? – The United States and its allies have flaunted in their success to topple Saddam Hussein's regime and to bring freedom to the Iraqi people. Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was indeed removed, but the war caused a loss of 100,000 civilian lives and left 200,000 others injured and two million more Iraqis homeless, and the entire middle class in the country has vanished.

"Liberating Iraq or destroying it?" ask Arab media, and is "the liberation" meant to leave Iraq with the most orphanages and widowed mothers on earth, and is "the liberation" implied to the nation with the worst and most tragic human rights situation, or the nation with a deprival of scientists, thinkers and doctors, or a nation with its exceeding high unemployment rate, along with a cut of tap water supply and frequent blackouts. Americans may leave the chaotic nation at the appropriate time they deem, but it is in fact the sole homeland of Iraqis, say Arab media.

By People's Daily Online and contributed by PD overseas resident reporters Ma Xiaoning and Li Yida


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