Fox News Correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports that only a handful
of Iraqis were on hand Thursday as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and
U.S. military leaders formally ended the Iraq war with a subdued
ceremony in Baghdad. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki did not
attend the ceremony at which the flag of U.S. Forces-Iraq was
"You will leave with great pride -- lasting pride -- secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to cast tyranny aside and to offer hope for prosperity and peace to this country's future generations," Panetta told U.S. troops. But even as a U.S. military band played a medley of patriotic American tunes, the ceremony -- televised live in the 5 a.m. EST hour -- seemed one-sided without Iraqi participation or even a thank-you.
"We spilled a lot of blood there," the defense secretary said earlier this week. "But all of that has not been in vain. It's been to achieve a mission making that country sovereign and independent and able to govern and secure itself."