The Obama administration has decided to change the name of the U.S. mission in Iraq from "Operation Iraqi Freedom" to "Operation New Dawn," beginning in September. The new designation will coincide with the withdrawal of the last U.S. combat troops, signaling the completion of America's original mission and the beginning of a new relationship with the country's elected leadership, said Defense Secretary Robert Gates. After years of deadly and costly twists and turns, can America truly declare "mission accomplished" in Iraq? (Watch a Fox discussion about the war in Iraq)
Yes, it's time for the war's opponents to admit they were wrong: "I understand" that some people never approved of this war, says David Bellavia, a veteran of the war, in his blog. But we prevailed in a fight they said we couldn't win. Out of respect for the soldiers whose sacrifices made victory possible, the least the critics could do now is "acknowledge what was won on the ground in Iraq."
"Our mission is finally accomplished ... anyone care?"
A new name doesn't make the war a success: The White House can "rebrand the Iraq war" all it wants, says Arianna Huffington in The Huffington Post. Lord knows the Bushies tried new names to create the illusion of success. But come September we'll still have 50,000 troops in Iraq. "It's time to brand the war what it always was—'A Huge, Tragic Mistake'— and get the hell out."
Mission accomplished? Not yet: Iraq could still turn out to be a great achievement for the U.S., says Jackson Diehl in The Washington Post, or a horrible nightmare. The verdict largely depends on the March 7 elections and what follows. If the winners ally with the U.S. to cement Iraq's democracy ... mission accomplished. But if the results fuel sectarian violence, or increase Iran's influence, the trouble in Iraq is just beginning.
"Will Iraq be an Obama achievement or nightmare?"
SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST COVERAGE OF IRAQ:
• Will Afghanistan be Obama's Iraq?
• Stephen Colbert's Iraq invasion
• What the Iraq bombings mean
• Cheney takes credit for Iraq's success
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