So this is how an extended, unwarranted, atrocious, panicked action shambles off the highway of history: Not with a bang, nor with a whimper, but with “nostalgia.”
“There was a signing of papers of receivership that gave Iraq custody of the base effective today,” [U.S. military spokesman Col. Barry] Johnson said. “It’s quite nostalgic. It was the center of gravity for what we were doing here for all these years,” he added. Source
Officially, the second “I” and the “O” in the term IIO used as a title here incessantly over the years may be retired. The leading “I” can never be expunged.
Update December 19: In on a lie, and out on a lie.
For security reasons, the last soldiers made no time for goodbyes to Iraqis with whom they had become acquainted. To keep details of the final trip secret from insurgents, interpreters for the last unit to leave the base called local tribal sheiks and government leaders on Saturday morning and conveyed that business would go on as usual, not letting on that all the Americans would soon be gone. Citation
Shock and awe that there exists such a thing as a declared end. Dismal, simply dismal.
U.S. Admiral James W. Stavridis, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, also expressed regrets in a letter read at the ceremony. He “there were hopes to continue the mission beyond 2011 ” and added: “We are concluding earlier than we had hoped.” Source