In Iraq, it’s already June 30th, and they’re celebrating National Sovereignty Day. The US has pulled back from Baghdad and other urban areas, leaving Iraq’s elected government and its security forces to maintain order and keep the peace. Iraq has erupted in celebration, and the government has declared it a naional holiday:
Iraqi forces have assumed formal control of security in Baghdad and other cities after U.S. combat troops withdrew from urban areas. A countdown clock broadcast on Iraqi TV ticked to zero as the midnight deadline passed for combat troops to pull back.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has declared a public holiday and proclaimed June 30 as “National Sovereignty Day.”
A senior adviser to al-Maliki says “the withdrawal of American troops is completed now from all cities after everything they sacrificed for the sake of security.” Sadiq Al-Rikabi told The Associated Press on Tuesday that “we are now celebrating the restoration of sovereignty.”
Congratulations, Iraq, on your National Sovereignty Day. Thank you for the recognition of the sacrifices of American troops in establishing order and freedom from tyranny. Our prayers and best wishes are with you as you take this big step towards self-determination and prove that Arab nations can thrive with democracy.
Just to the east, of course, another nation’s populace is also out in the street — looking for what Iraqis already have. Our prayers and best wishes are with them, too.