By Michael Collins
BAGHDAD —”Days after the U.S. officially ended combat operations and touted Iraq’s ability to defend itself, American troops found themselves battling heavily armed militants assaulting an Iraqi military headquarters in the center of Baghdad on Sunday. The fighting killed 12 people and wounded dozens.
“It was the first exchange of fire involving U.S. troops in Baghdad since the Aug. 31 deadline for formally ending the combat mission, and it showed that American troops remaining in the country are still being drawn into the fighting.
“The attack also made plain the kind of lapses in security that have left Iraqis wary of the U.S. drawdown and distrustful of the ability of Iraqi forces now taking up ultimate responsibility for protecting the country.” Barbara Surk, AP, Sept 5
But wait. Isn’t this supposed to be over?
“So tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country.” President Barack Obama, August 31, 2010
But in Baghdad today, the Iraqi military called on U.S. forces for support and got it in the form of troops, helicopters, and drones.
Apparently, this is part of the plan. The AP article ended with this portentous line:
“Under an agreement between the two countries, Iraq can still call on American forces to assist in combat and U.S. troops can defend themselves if attacked.” AP, Sept 5
The sorrows of empire are never ending.