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Iraq: End of the beginning?

Today, U.S. troops withdrew from urban areas in Iraq. It is a momenteous moment, but hardly time to break out the champagne.

Yes, it signals a change in our involvement there. But, as Great Britain's Winston Churchill said when the London bombings ceased, "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning."

Even as we mark this step, we mourn the death of four soldiers in Bagdhad on June 29, 2009, and the more than 25 civilians dead in Kirkuk June 30. We must remember that the U.S. still has large encampments in forward areas and bombers have not given up killing fellow Iraqis.

But perhaps we can remember today as, "The end of the beginning."

For video of troop withdrawals, Iraqi celebrations, and sadly, the Kirkuk car bombing, see these online B.B.C. reports.


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