The First Draft: Sovereignty Day
Washington is a town of euphemisms, where “mistakes were made” but nobody takes responsibility, where lawmakers routinely refer to each other as “my good friend” before questioning their buddies’ sanity or moral character.
The Washingtonian art of the euphemism apparently has been learned in Baghdad, where to mark today’s departure of U.S. forces from Iraqi cities, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki declared National Sovereignty Day and celebrated with a military parade.
As U.S. combat units get out of Iraq’s urban areas and move into rural bases, Pentagon leaders will be speaking, though not in Washington. Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses a NATO change-of-command ceremony in Stuttgart while Army General Ray Odierno, the U.S. commander in Iraq, briefs reporters via video link.
At the White House, President Barack Obama talks about nonprofit programs, then meets with Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
With Congress gone and the U.S. capital already on the glide-path to the Independence Day holiday weekend, morning television was dominated by ongoing questions about the late Michael Jackson’s legacy — fiscal, familial and cultural — and the aftermath of the sentencing of investment swindler Bernard Madoff. To many of Madoff’s victims, a 150-year prison term is not enough.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Nikola Solic (U.S. Army soldier of 1st Cavalry division’s 2nd Battalion and U.S. flag during dawn ceremony in Baghdad on June 29, 2009)