While some have tried to compare Iraq with Vietnam, I have always maintained that Iraq was much more like Britain and Ireland. I, of course, am right. I won't go into great detail about the history of this conflict/occupation, but I encourage you to look into it. The parallels with Ireland and Iraq are numerous, and can provide great insight into what to expect in Iraq.
It's been 4 decades, but it looks like the pullout of British forces is becoming a reality, and Ireland can move forward to reunification.
THE British army prepared today to end its nearly four-decade mission in Northern Ireland in low-key fashion, the latest symbolic step towards normalisation in the long-troubled province.
The military milestone, from midnight today (09:00 AEST), comes two months after self-rule was restored in Belfast following a historic power-sharing deal between Protestant and Catholic former foes.
In London, British Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth called it the “beginning of a new era”.
“This is a further significant step towards the realisation of a normal, peaceful, and prosperous society in Northern Ireland,” Dermot Ahern, the foreign minister of the Republic of Ireland, said.
Operation Banner, after 38 years the army's longest-ever continuous campaign, saw more than 300,000 personnel in service, over 6000 injured and 763 killed by paramilitaries during the bleak years of terrorism and sectarian bloodshed.
I'm off to down a Guiness, and celebrate!