Last night, TRMS aired the conclusion of Rachel's interview with Vice President Joe Biden. In that part of the conversation, the issue of combat operations in Iraq -- and the announced end of those operations -- came up. Since there have been soldiers killed and wounded in Iraq since that August 31 announcement, Rachel asked why the phrase "end of combat operations" was used at all. The Vice President had an answer:
[I]t was very important for the sovereignty of the Iraqis, to let them know we recognize the fact they are now capable. They are capable. We'll continue to train them. We'll continue to help them. But by the end of next year, we're out, we're gone. And so, it may be, you know, a bit of a misnomer. But in literal, military terms, we are no longer in a combat lead position. We are doing support. We are protecting American facilities, the embassies. We are protecting American personnel and American citizens. And we're training Iraqis.
Allowing that "end of combat operations" may be a misnomer was hardly an adequate explanation for the next TRMS guest, Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Not adequate at all:
What may be mere semantics in politics translates into real emotion, real loss and real consequences in war. Seems that we should demand more from our leaders than wars that end with misnomers.