The President used the conclusion of slow news month August for the purpose of announcing that
major combat operations are complete the combat mission is over, and the 50,000 heavily armed American troops (to be complemented by a cohort of highly paid Blackwater mercenaries and civilian government and contractor personnel) who will remain in Iraq will be in a "non-combat" role. I am told that the total remaining American contingent of around 126,000 personnel to do whatever is they are supposed to do with respect to Iraq's 25 million people... is around the same size as the British contingent of personnel who administered the Indian Raj, when the Raj's population was just over 100 million or so. So go figure.
Lest we not be clear, the President's choice of "optics"-- the very same desk that his predecessor used to announce the damned war in the first place ("feels good")... is a not so subtle hint at the Obama Administration's intent to have "continuity"... everything from retaining Dubya's Defense Secretary to retaining Dubya's timetable for removal of "combat troops" (pay no attention to the heavily armed American soldiers, Iraqis... they are non-combat troops... yeah, that's the ticket)... to retaining Dubya's incoherence at explaining why we were in Iraq or why we are staying there (and make no mistake... 50,000 troops and over 70,000 permanent personnel will be staying there)... and of course, retaining Dubya's overall bloodthirstiness, in this case, with the bulk of American inflicted homicides now shifting a bit Eastward, from Iraq to Afghanistan (where a fair number of the "combat troops" departing Iraq will also be heading).
And pay no attention to the Republicans who will try to tell us irrelevances, such as that Senator Barack Obama opposed
our Holy Crusade and war against Islam and all Muslims "the Surge[TM]" back when His Holiness Gen. David Petraeus told us we would be having it... the Republicans in Congress and the President are on the same page on all important issues, such as expansion of the American total security state and retention and expansion of the Imperium... which is why both are looking forward to the Republicans taking control of the House (sorry, Nancy), thus making the President's ability to govern as a Republican far less troublesome.
All in all, fascisti everywhere should consider this a pretty good week in Washington, what with both the
Mission AccomplishedCombat mission over speech by the President, and the "I have a dream" speech by Glenn Beck... although with respect to the latter, I kind of preferred it in the original German.