So it took seven years, but finally the beginning of the promised exit. Tonight the last combat brigades have left Iraq and are now in Kuwait. It happened quickly without much advanced notice. MSNBC carried it live.
This leaves of course 50,000 troops in "support" roles, which includes a variety of combat possibilities. And it leaves an unnumbered contingent of contractors who fill various para-military and military roles on contract. But still, it is a beginning.
It took seven years to get out of Iraq where we should never have been in the first place.
It took 4500 deaths and a huge number of wounded (40,000 being a low estimate). It took the time and stress and personal sacrifice of many many service people who gave their all and sometimes returned with wounds in the heart and body both. It took over 740 billion dollars from the treasury. It cost the lives of many thousands of Iraqi people who were colateral damage (an awful phrase.) It took the lies of leaders and the averted gaze of congress to justify for the moment the effort.
Once we said yes it was hard to say no.
Still, in the quiet of a Kuwait night they drove over the border. God willing the credits will come up soon and it will say THE END.