Celebrating Iraq Withdrawal: Tempting Fate?

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White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

Obama at Fort Bragg last Thursday

It has been three days since the last U.S. troops left Iraq. Tuesday will mark the third time President Obama has celebrated the end of the war. No one is going to quibble with a heartfelt Hooah! for the troops for a job well done, but it may be a tad premature. Obama first journeyed to North Carolina’s Fort Bragg last Wednesday. “We are ending a war, not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home,” he told the soldiers. He repeated that message in Saturday’s weekly radio address: “Our troops are now preparing to make their final march across the border and out of the country.” On Tuesday, the President will head to Andrews Air Force Base, where he will greet U.S. commanders when they come home from Iraq.

Meanwhile, back in Iraq, the Shia-led Iraqi government charged a Sunni vice president Monday with running sectarian hit squads targeting Sunni government officials. The key Sunni bloc has boycotted cabinet and parliamentary gatherings. Three Sunni-majority provinces have begun pushing for greater autonomy from Baghdad, like the Kurds in the northern part of the country. Perhaps the President should let the Champagne sit on ice a little longer.