A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, June 29, 2009

Iraq: We're Out a Day Early

Here I was trying to figure out what I was going to write tomorrow as the obligatory post about the final withdrawal from Iraq's cities, and General Odierno says it's already happened.

The Iraqis are celebrating National Sovereignty Day. As Marc Lynch noted today,
While I'm writing about this today because I just can't resist the sweet entreaties of our beloved editorial team, I don't actually think it's that big a deal. American forces have been drawing down in line with the Status of Forces Agreement expectations for months now --- it's not like tomorrow all of the Americans will suddenly click the heels of their ruby slippers and vanish in a puff of smoke.
He's right, but since I was planning on blogging it tomorrow, I'm not sure there's much more to say. US combat forces may be out of Baghdad, but we've still got Camp Victory sitting out at the International Airport. Sort of like withdrawing from Washington to redeploy at Tyson's Corner, though that will mean nothing to you outside-the-Beltway readers. This is an important symbolic step, but it sounds as if the actual transfers of power have been taking place over the past several weeks.

So unless something really big happens tomorrow, this will be my US-withdrawal-from-the-Iraqi-cities post.

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