Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's speech this morning to US troops in Baghdad officially marks the end of the Iraq war. Now if we could just wrap up that whole Afghanistan thing...
Panetta looked on as the flag of the command was lowered and rolled up - bringing the war to an official end.
After close to nine years, some 4,500 American war dead, tens of thousands wounded and more than $800 billion spent, Panetta honored those who had served in deployments in Iraq since 2003.
"To the men and women in uniform: Your nation is deeply indebted to you. You have done everything your nation asked your to do, and more... you will leave with lasting pride, secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people begin a new chapter in history, free from tyranny and full of hope for prosperity and peace," he said Thursday during the ceremony with Iraqi officials.
Isn't that just like boys? Now that gays and lesbians can serve openly, they pack up their toys and go home! Seriously though, it's about damn time. We never should have invaded Iraq and we've been there too long.
Now the question becomes, what do we do with all those soldiers returning home who'll need jobs? In a speech to troops this week, President Obama told them that several companies had pledged to hire returning veterans, but that's only a couple hundred thousand people. With record high unemployment, these men and women will only increase the number of unemployed. Has no one thought of using these brave soldiers for public works projects? It'd give them jobs and improve our deteriorating infrastructure.