Ending the Iraq Catastrophe
October 21, 2011

Exclusive: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told President Barack Obama that U.S. troops wouldn’t have immunity from Iraqi laws after December, forcing the last thousands of American soldiers to leave. That signals the end of the Iraq War – and the start of the U.S. battle over what the war’s lessons were, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

President Barack Obama will talk about “a promise kept” as he brings the last U.S. troops in Iraq “home for the holidays”; the neocons will try to spin the exit as “victory, at last”; but the hard truth is that the Iraq War has been a largely self-inflicted strategic defeat for the United States.

When the last U.S. convoys race for the Kuwaiti border in December, they will be as much in retreat as the Soviet army was when it withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989. And, like the staggering Soviet Union then, the United States is reeling now from economic dislocations exacerbated by the overreach of empire.

Of course, the United States is not likely to undergo the political collapse that interred the Soviet system two years after its Afghan debacle ended, but Washington’s vast overspending on imperial ambitions since World War II – of which Iraq was one of the more egregious examples – has buried the American Dream for many millions of Americans.

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