From KGS Nightwatch (

Iraq: For the record. Prime minister al-Maliki declared 31 December a national holiday in honor of the end of the American military presence in Iraq. He described the US military departure as marking "a new dawn" in which Iraq would focus on rebuilding a nation after nearly nine years of war.

"Your country has become free," he said. "The faithful sons of Iraq have to preserve its sovereignty, unity and independence." He said the U.S. withdrawal that was completed Dec. 18 was proof of the government's ability to protect the country's sovereignty.

In Basra, the Badr organization, which is part of a key Iraqi Shiite political faction that was founded in Iran, celebrated the occasion by putting posters of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, on the walls of government institutions and buildings.

Comment: Al Maliki did not credit nor thank the US for anything.

No gratitude in Baghdad and Khomeini posters in Basra. Maybe Obama should go over again and apologize to them. :mad: