With all the activity in the last week or so, one bit of news seems to have slipped away from the forefront. On Monday of this week, American forces turned over control of the province over to the Iraqi army and police force (see here for full article).
Make no mistake, this was a major day, even if it didn't get a lot of press. Anbar had been one of the most violent areas of Iraq. "More than 1,100 U.S. troops died there in some of the biggest battles of the war, including two sweeps of Fallujah in 2004." Now according to the Chicago Tribune article "Anbar is at peace".
You may think that the US should have never entered Iraq. That's your prerogative. But the fact is that we did and now we have an obligation to complete the job that we started. Iraq has been liberated from a dictator. They have written their own constitution, held free elections and are slowly taking back their own country.
In Anbar, they have gotten Sunni and Shia to work together. That's like the Hatfields and McCoys (or a Gamecock and a Tiger). This is major. Years from now, we will look at this as a point in history, when the momentum changed.
The war is long from over. Anbar will certainly see more bloodshed. But we should take note of this transition. We should thank a soldier for his/her participation in the emancipation of this country. The 1100 soldiers who didn't make it home from Anbar should be saluted and their family appreciated.