30 June, 2009

The Fledgling Grows

Iraq took another step forward, as we again hold our collective breath:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq regained full control if its towns and cities on Tuesday as U.S. troops pulled back, six years after the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein. [snip]

"This day, which we consider a national celebration, is an achievement made by all Iraqis," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said in a televised address, as citizens drove around the streets with flags and plastic flowers draped over their cars.

"Our incomplete sovereignty and the presence of foreign troops is the most serious legacy we have inherited (from Saddam). Those who think that Iraqis are unable to defend their country are committing a fatal mistake."

I hope he's right. They have been given a gift at great cost to both themselves and the givers--I feel much the same as I did after they held their first post-Saddam election, full of sadness for those who died, pride for what has been accomplished, and hope tempered by reasonable fear that it could all be for naught.

With apologies to Mr. Franklin... They have freedom, if they can keep it.

[some great pics--just keep clicking]