PREFACE
Rebuilding Iraq will require a sustained commitment from many nations, in-
cluding our own: we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, and not a day more.
America has made and kept this kind of commitment before—in the peace that
followed a world war. After defeating enemies, we did not leave behind occupy-
ing armies, we left constitutions and parliaments. We established an atmosphere
of safety, in which responsible, reform-minded local leaders could build lasting
institutions of freedom. In societies that once bred fascism and militarism, liberty
found a permanent home.
—GEORGE W. BUSH,
February ≤∏, ≤≠≠≥
And there we are, ready to run the great Yankee risk.
So, once again, be careful!
American domination—the only domination from which one never recovers.
I mean from which one never recovers unscarred.
—AIMÉ CÉSAIRE,
Discourse on Colonialism
In a televised address from the Oval O≈ce on August 31, 2010, President
Barack Obama declared the U.S. combat mission in Iraq ended, over seven
years after it began: ‘‘Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people
now have lead responsibility for the security of their country.’’ Outlining
an accelerated timetable for complete troop withdrawal by the end of the
following year, and the subsequent transfer of security functions to Iraqi
forces, Obama continued solemnly:
Ending this war is not only in Iraq’s interest—it is in our own. The United
States has paid a huge price to put the future of Iraq in the hands of its
people. We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacri-
fices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at
home. We have persevered because of a belief we share with the Iraqi people
—a belief that out of the ashes of war, a new beginning could be born in this
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