7/11: Not a Convenience Store, Not 9/11

The White House is letting reporters on a conference call know that troop draw down will begin in July 2011 from Afghanistan. It doesn't say anything about the pace of withdrawal, which will depend on various benchmarks, but it does mean that some "thinning" will begin there. Will 7/11 become as emblematic as 9/11, as the date when the Wars of 9/11 begin to come to a close, two months shy of a decade? Doubtful, in the extreme, of course. We'll still be in Iraq and we'll only be beginning the drawdown in Afghanistan on that catchy date. But it will allow the president to go into his reelection bid saying that the withdrawal has begun. Of course, circumstances can and will change. Still, it's a resonant date not only because of the convenience store--they spell it 7-Eleven--but because of the 9/11 resonance which always had the ring of 9-1-1. An oddity on an odd day in our country's history.

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Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

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