Last week, the U.S. occupation of Iraq officially ceased being a combat mission as the military entered the stability phase of its operations. Here are some of the major victories of the seven-and-a-half-year war:

  • Oct. 11, 2002: In the most crucial victory of the campaign, the Bush administration wins enough congressional votes to authorize war
  • Apr. 12, 2003: Statue of Iraqi track star Taffar Al Saffar toppled in front of Mosul Boys & Girls Club
  • Nov. 27, 2003: President Bush absentmindedly gnaws at prop Thanksgiving turkey while watching The New Three Stooges cartoon on portable DVD player
  • Oct. 17, 2004: Anger over the invasion and daily bombings spurs the creation of al-Qaeda in Iraq, finally producing the enemy we need to justify the war
  • Nov. 7, 2004: The second, and best, Battle of Fallujah begins
  • Nov. 11, 2006: A drone aircraft armed with Hellfire missiles foils a carefully orchestrated plan to wed Hakim Jassar al-Rawi and Sanaa Haydar
  • Dec. 30, 2006: Iraqi officials execute the most convincing of Saddam Hussein's look-alikes
  • May. 2007: 121 U.S. troops die, which is way less than 500