So the Iraq War Is Over, Right?

Richard Engel was there as the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division (the 4/2 from here on out), poured through the border from Iraq into Kuwait last week. He’d been in and out of Iraq since before the invasion in 2003, and it was fitting that such a public face of the reporting of the war be present as the last combat troops left their theater of operations. The war made his career, and deservedly so. Engel was doing his best to add the proper amount of gravity to what the viewer was seeing on the screen, with ample backup from anchors and retired generals back in the MSNBC studios. The moment of those troops leaving should have been a profound one, but was, per usual, overplayed by the talking heads in the studio. Even Engel was not immune, there on the ground, bearing witness to what could not have been anything less than a true anchor point in his life. He was improvising on the fly, flailing in his attempts to convey to the viewer that what was playing out on screen did indeed have import. But really, it didn’t mean a damn thing. It, like everything else of real consequence in current events, got between the media machine’s efforts to make all stories equally sensational, and a public immune to the gesticulations of an apoplectic, even epileptic, tactic. Continue reading “So the Iraq War Is Over, Right?”