Today marks the day for US forces to pass control back to the Iraqi people. Although this passing of power is only a pullback, and not a complete withdrawal, what should be noticed is the great celebrations being held throughout Iraq as the people proclaim hope in regaining a sense of national sovereignty. Iraq has even claimed this day a national holiday, as if that doesn't illuminate the great strife as well as great pride Iraqis are showcasing on this day where US and foreign forces take a step back from ruling the Iraq homeland.
What remains is what the US presence will be until the "formal" withdraw slated for completion in 2011 takes shape. It also remains unclear how Iraq with rebuild itself as a nation ravaged by a highly illegal, illogical, and unethical war which began over 6 years ago.
Points to remember, beyond the continued occupation of Afghanistan and selective bombing of Pakistan, is while formal control of Iraq’s major cities and towns have been passed from the US, US forces will still be stationed in military bases that will continue to "monitor" the very same areas they withdrew from. Although today is a great step for Iraqi sovereignty, does this "withdrawal" in fact mean anything at all? I, along with all those who believe in the possibility of peace, sure hope so.
Please visit these sites for more information: http://www.iraqpledge.org/ and http://www.alternet.org/world/