Hallelujah! Not a word I lead with often, but appropriate today. The last American combat troops are leaving Iraq. Not the last troops, of course. Some 50,000 will remain training Iraqi forces and staying, I hope, mainly out of harm's way. It's not the end but it's the beginning of the end. Hallelujah.
The war has lasted longer than World Wars I or II. George W. Bush ordered U.S. troops into Iraq in March, 2003, more than seven years ago. 4400 of them died there. What for? Well, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was a bad man. He'd invaded Kuwait. The first president Bush drove him out of it. His son invaded the country, perhaps because it was supposed to have weapons of mass destruction. It didn't. So the question of remains: what for?
But even bad things come to an end. We are, last long last, leaving. Shed a tear for the dead, the wounded and the scarred - and smile at the men and women coming happily home. Even those left behind will come home eventually, we're told. So, smile and welcome them home.
One foolish war ending, or so it seems. One to go.