Scenes from a Drawdown:
Constructed with an opinion, offered without comment:
"Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki declared Sunday a national holiday. Iraqi TV stations have been running a countdown logo — 'Two days till June 30' — on all programming."
"Fireworks continued to light up the sky over Baghdad into the early hours on Tuesday, after thousands of Iraqis, an unprecedented number for a public post-war event, attended a party in a park where singers performed patriotic songs.
"'All of us are happy - Shias, Sunnis and Kurds on this day ... the Americans harmed and insulted us too much,' Waleed al-Bahadili, an Iraqi attending the celebrations, told the AFP news agency.
"Many Iraqis ignored an appeal by Tariq al-Hashemi, the Iraqi vice president, to stay away from crowded places during the US pullback, after more than 250 people were killed in bombings over the past 10 days."
"Speaking as a military parade marking the event was held deep inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki said, 'The national united government succeeded in putting down the sectarian war that was threatening the unity and the sovereignty of Iraq.' He made no mention of the American military’s involvement in fighting here for the last six years, and more than 120,000 American troops remain on Iraqi soil.
"The military parade in the Green Zone on Tuesday — at the official monument to the unknown soldier — was attended primarily by Iraqi reporters and dignitaries. The public could not reach it because of extensive security restricting access to the area. Several American news organizations were also barred, including two television news networks and The New York Times, on the grounds that they did not have the appropriate badges. This seemed in part intended to signal that the Iraqi authorities were in charge."
"On June 30 major companies - including Exxon, Shell, BP and Total - will gather at Iraq's oil ministry in Baghdad for a two-day meeting to take part in the first bidding round for oil service contracts."
"An oil consortium led by British Petroleum has won a contract to develop a large oil field in Iraq, as dozens of international firms compete for the rights to the nation's oil and gas reserves. BP, along with China's CNPC, secured the contract for the Rumaila oil field on Tuesday, the largest of Iraq's six oil fields on offer to foreign and state-owned companies."
"Later this year, Iraq is due to offer another set of fields that are even more appealing since they are undeveloped."
"The 130,000 U.S. troops who remain are now tasked with supporting Iraqi troops and police, and will be unable to launch operations in the cities without Iraqi consent. A small number of Americans will stay in the cities to train, advise and coordinate with the Iraqi security forces."