This is what victory in Iraq looks like?

UPDATE: Check out this Jeremy Scahill article in the Nation on why the U.S. isn’t really withdrawing from Iraq.

Politico has an article today trumpeting the “first steps of a U.S. victory lap on the war in Iraq,” a reference to President Barack Obama’s speech today heralding the planned withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops from Iraq seven years after the invasion.

50,000 troops are to remain in Iraq until the end of 2011.

But the notion that the U.S. is leaving Iraq behind as a stable, democratic country is hard to square with the factual reality on the ground.  One example is this New York Times article that reports that “Iraq’s government still struggles to provide one of the most basic services”–electricity.

Iraq still does not have a government in place months over three months after their elections.  Violence remains high; yesterday, Al Jazeera reported that “at least 535 people have been killed in Iraq in the month of July, making it the country’s deadliest since May 2008, according to Iraqi government figures.”

I’m not arguing for a continuation of the U.S. occupation of Iraq by any means.  I think it’s high time the U.S. got out, and we never should have invaded.  I’m just noting that Iraq is not a success story.

At what price did this “victory” come at?

-Perhaps over a million dead Iraqis

4.7 million Iraqis, both inside Iraq and outside, remain refugees.  This is the largest Middle East refugee crisis since the Palestinian Nakba.

Inadequate supplies of electricity.

But Iraq is fine.  Really.

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