Okay, lets qualify that by saying barring some unforseen calamity, the war is over... because you just never know.
But on Thanksgiving Day, the Iraqi parliament approved a new security pact that requires the United States to withdraw our troops by 2011.
The Iraqi government also voted on new restrictions for U.S. troops when it comes to searching homes, detaining citizens, and conducting military operations. Iraqi officials will also have oversight over U.S. troops and our soldiers will be prosecuted in Iraqi courts for serious crimes that are committed off-duty.
There are also plans to pull U.S. troops out of the cities and confine them to bases out in the countryside until we get our ticket home in 2011 -- three years from now.
Britain will start withdrawing its 4,100 troops in March, expecting to be out of Iraq by June.
Just a year ago, this sort of bombshell would have blown conservative stacks on the talk show circuit. That was back when candidate John McCain vowed never to surrender in Iraq (as if some insurgent general was going to hand over his sword like Robert E. Lee at Appomattox). Imagine the effrontery of the Iraqis telling us what to do in their own country!
But now, the mood in America seems to be: lets pack our bags and split before they change their minds.
President Bush is happy. The vote affirms the growth of Iraqs democracy and increasing ability to secure itself, he said earlier this month.
President-elect Barack Obama has got to be happy, because the news means well no longer be pumping $12 billion or more into the futile sands of Iraq each month. He and Congress are going to need every cent they can scrape up to move the country forward -- not to mention Obamas plan to send thousands of new troops into Afghanistan.
American hawks can be happy because they can declare victory. And the same applies to the American peace movement. Whats not to like?
Of course, there are some naysayers who wonder if Iraqs government can get it together to run the country on their own within three years time. Or, will they be engulfed by the insurgent militias that have made Iraq a moonscape of bomb craters and bloody markets?
Well, consider this: a sizeable number of Iraqis are ticked off that our troops will be allowed to stay in their country for three more years. In early December, 10,000 of them protested allowing us to stay that long.
Now, the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush last week is a big hero to many Iraqis, who would like to see us gone immediately. He yelled: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!
Question: Can an old dog learn new tricks? Lets use those shoes to tip-toe out of Iraq while the getting is good.