The reported drawdown in American troops from Iraq has been portrayed as a "withdrawal of the U.S." from Iraq, but it is really just a pretend end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The removal of combat forces still leaves 50,000 so-called "military trainers" in the country, a huge number of American troops compared to eight years ago, when there weren't any in Iraq at all. Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, bolstered the spin on this issue when he announced on television that his country is once again independent and sovereign. So if tens of thousands of American troops are staying in the country, then why the show? The portrayal of the drawdown in forces as an end to American occupation of Iraq goes down well with both the American population and Iraq's politicians. The fact that the media has accepted this portrayal unquestioningly highlights the success of the Washington propaganda machine and the gullibility of the media around the world.