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Author Topic: USA leaving Iraq  (Read 3716 times)

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Offline Jude

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2010, 08:08:03 PM »
I wonder how all of the people who died since our invasion would feel about the "good" we did.  And the end of the story is still very much untold:  perhaps we helped solidify what was previously a dictatorship into a democracy, but that remain to be seen.  America can pat itself on the back once people stop dying in droves over there.  The Iraqis have gone through hell since our arrival, that isn't to say things weren't bad before, but without numbers to back up the argument and looking into the future, you can't really say things are better and are going to be.

Our soldiers intended to do good.  Our soldiers fought hard and deserve respect no matter how things turn out.  If things don't turn out well elected officials and policy will be to blame, not the excellent men and women in our armed forces.

Equating the success of the mission and the value of our troops is the same mistake made after Vietnam, it just happened to be propelled in the other direction back then.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 08:10:23 PM by Jude »

Offline Vekseid

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2010, 11:08:04 PM »
Alright I did a lot of digging and it was hard enough finding a copy of the Downing street memo without someones commentary all over the page. The problem as I see it is I cant prove or disprove to my standards whether the document is real or fabricated.  There were just to many red flags on both sides to accept it as evidence. I have to admit, most of them went up because of my work in military intelligence years ago so maybe I gave it more scrutiny then it deserved. For now, I have to disregard it as evidence because when I look at it, objectively there are to many unanswered questions and to many points in the document and in the response to its existence that just don't make sense. If its real, its certainly a damning piece of evidence, but at this point in time I'm not sure if it is real

and No. I wasn't kidding when i said this was the first time I heard of it.

It was never denied, while officials - including Blair - made statements regarding it. It's not the only piece of evidence we had beforehand that the Bush administration was up to no good.

Quote
Ive said this before on Elliquiy, this will probably be the third time I have. My position on Iraq has always been the same. I don't care why you believe we were sent over there. The fact is we were sent there and we all worked our butts off. In the process we helped those people. I don't care what theories you have but don't ever deny or forget the good that we did.

We know what you believe, Brandon. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are still dead, their nation is in ruins and they are facing a surging population of extremist Islam. People will not accept your statement at face value when we have the word - and actions - of the Iraqis themselves to consider as a counterpoint.

Given the humanitarian crisis the embargo was causing, maybe the liberation was a 'good' thing, in comparison, if only because it brought that suffering to an end. But the suffering caused by the embargo was still the doing of American policy.

I refuse to say 'ours', anymore. I did not elect Clinton, Reagan, or either Bush. I was able to first vote for president in 2004. I don't think many republicans, democrats, or independents really wanted that suffering.

Offline Brandon

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2010, 06:56:11 AM »
I dont like to talk about my experiences in Iraq, I do like talking about the military itself but the details of Iraq just make me feel a variety of undesirable emotions. I will say this much. Much like any soldier who goes into combat there will be a variety of opinions as they are just as much individuals as we are. Out of those people I knew I think a few who would have been proud to sacrifice themselves to liberate the Iraqi's, I can think of one who would have hated the idea, and there are a few others that even looking back on it Im just not sure what their opinion would be.

That doesnt even take into account that we all knew the risks when we swore the oath of service and we all made a choice to get on those planes and go to Iraq. No one was held at gunpoint and forced on board. If they didnt want to be there they could have refused and faced the consequences for their choice.

Although I guess once again, since my opinions and experiences are only one and not a huge number of opinions represented in some way, everything I think must be disregarded again. Right?

Veksied, the memo in question was released May 1st of 2005. Troops were deployed to Iraq in Spring of 2003. That said, the memo cant really be evidence of (Im paraphrasing here) "something to prove the Bush administration was up to no good before the war began." since it hadnt been released to the public yet. Since this was the only piece of evidence people gave me, thats the only thing I analyzed. The political responses both from the UK and the US are just weird.

Normally I would be willing to look at other pieces of evidence and analyze them for myself but after years of going back and forth with this I dont think were ever going to come to an agreement on what is or isnt the truth (I tend to disregard a lot of theories because I often cant tell where they originated from or do find out where they came from but find the source less then credible or I find other reason s that suggest evidence is fabricated). Can we simply agree to disagree and drop it from here on out?

Offline Trieste

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Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2010, 07:05:36 AM »
USA left Iraq, that was the news today. What is your intake on this? are they really leaving? or is this just another lie from the government?

I hope USA soldiers are leaving or have actually left Iraq. I think we need to leave the Middle East to its own devices for a while. I think part of the problem with the Middle East is that we keep messing with it. We need to stop installing governments and then toppling them when they don't dance the way we want them to, and God help us for Isreal.

We need to give the people a break and stop dicking around for our own interests over there. That's my take.

Offline Vekseid

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2010, 10:59:42 AM »
...

Although I guess once again, since my opinions and experiences are only one and not a huge number of opinions represented in some way, everything I think must be disregarded again. Right?

No.

On the face of it, you can make a list of things like:

Good: Removing Saddam from power, providing a framework for democracy, ending hurtful embargos
Bad: Entering the war without plans to establish an immediate legal framework and a means to enforce it, disruptions in services and utilities, the moral crisis that the war itself presents, etc.

When you add up the total of the latter - hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead, the dead American troops, the monetary cost of the war - for both the US and Iraq - people are going to consider "We did good" with some skepticism. A lot of skepticism. Keep in mind, again, that a lot of the suffering that occurred beforehand was due to U.S. policy.

Quote
Veksied, the memo in question was released May 1st of 2005. Troops were deployed to Iraq in Spring of 2003. That said, the memo cant really be evidence of (Im paraphrasing here) "something to prove the Bush administration was up to no good before the war began." since it hadnt been released to the public yet. Since this was the only piece of evidence people gave me, thats the only thing I analyzed. The political responses both from the UK and the US are just weird.

There are two avenues of response, here.

One is the administration's point of view - that in hindsight, we now know that the only evidence they had was gained through a torture confession. We all know how reliable (ie, not at all) torture is.

The second is that there was a mass of public perception that did not feel there was enough evidence to go to war against Iraq. There were mass protests before the War even began - marches larger than any protest the right wing in this country has ever held, period. The left and libertarians were not a large enough segment of the population at the time to stop much of anything, however.

Quote
Normally I would be willing to look at other pieces of evidence and analyze them for myself but after years of going back and forth with this I dont think were ever going to come to an agreement on what is or isnt the truth (I tend to disregard a lot of theories because I often cant tell where they originated from or do find out where they came from but find the source less then credible or I find other reason s that suggest evidence is fabricated). Can we simply agree to disagree and drop it from here on out?

When you say things like

Quote
Also try to remember that hindsight is 20/20. Its easy for us to say "oh we shouldnt have gone there because there we didnt find any WMDs" because we know thats a fact now. I doubt anyone would have that same opinion  if they were in President Bush's shoes and given the same evidence he was.

When you include people like me in 'us', you are bearing false witness - worse than lying - because you are declaring something about me - and others who opposed the war for a great many reasons before it began - that simply is not true.

That is my major objection to what you said. The debate over whether or not that good was done for Iraq is a separate issue, and one that may be up in the air - but conviction alone does not convince people.

Offline Oniya

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Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2010, 11:49:52 AM »
I dont like to talk about my experiences in Iraq, I do like talking about the military itself but the details of Iraq just make me feel a variety of undesirable emotions. I will say this much. Much like any soldier who goes into combat there will be a variety of opinions as they are just as much individuals as we are. Out of those people I knew I think a few who would have been proud to sacrifice themselves to liberate the Iraqi's, I can think of one who would have hated the idea, and there are a few others that even looking back on it Im just not sure what their opinion would be.

He hasn't said it outright, but replace Iraq with 'Nam, and you could be speaking for my dad there.

Offline Brandon

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2010, 05:21:58 PM »
No.

On the face of it, you can make a list of things like:

Good: Removing Saddam from power, providing a framework for democracy, ending hurtful embargos
Bad: Entering the war without plans to establish an immediate legal framework and a means to enforce it, disruptions in services and utilities, the moral crisis that the war itself presents, etc.

When you add up the total of the latter - hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead, the dead American troops, the monetary cost of the war - for both the US and Iraq - people are going to consider "We did good" with some skepticism. A lot of skepticism. Keep in mind, again, that a lot of the suffering that occurred beforehand was due to U.S. policy.

There are two avenues of response, here.

One is the administration's point of view - that in hindsight, we now know that the only evidence they had was gained through a torture confession. We all know how reliable (ie, not at all) torture is.

The second is that there was a mass of public perception that did not feel there was enough evidence to go to war against Iraq. There were mass protests before the War even began - marches larger than any protest the right wing in this country has ever held, period. The left and libertarians were not a large enough segment of the population at the time to stop much of anything, however.

When you say things like

When you include people like me in 'us', you are bearing false witness - worse than lying - because you are declaring something about me - and others who opposed the war for a great many reasons before it began - that simply is not true.

That is my major objection to what you said. The debate over whether or not that good was done for Iraq is a separate issue, and one that may be up in the air - but conviction alone does not convince people.

So the answer is no? We cant agree to disagree and drop it from here on out?

Offline Trieste

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Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2010, 06:44:36 PM »
Brandon, generally when people quote something and then post, it's answering that quote. So the quoted part would be about opinions being disregarded, and not about agreeing to disagree.

Offline Brandon

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2010, 08:10:24 PM »
I was talking specifically about his and my impressions of why the war started. Nothing else and I dont see an answer to that question. If Im mistaken please feel free to point it out to me.

As to the reason why I just want to take a disagreeing position is that we've done this dance before. From my point of view, by now it just seems like were an old married couple whos arguing about an aniverssary dinner 10 years prior and were at that point where the dinner has been eaten, enjoyed (or not enjoyed), and digested long ago

*wonders if that analogy makes as much sense to others*

Offline Trieste

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Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2010, 08:19:10 PM »
And he was addressing something else when he answered no.

If you want to drop it, just stop posting. It's not particularly hard.



He hasn't said it outright, but replace Iraq with 'Nam, and you could be speaking for my dad there.

I've heard a lot of parallels drawn between Vietnam and Iraq. Not only do you have a hard time defining who's a civvie and who's a soldier, but you also have the national lack of support and, of course, the continuing political discomfort even now. I think a really concerted effort was made to avoid demonizing the soldiers this time around because many people who sent sons and daughters over there this time around had dads and uncles in Vietnam. I would like to think that we learned from our mistakes, but it could be that the wound was just too fresh, too.

Offline Vekseid

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2010, 04:39:20 AM »
What Trieste said - many of us opposed the war before it began, so to insinuate otherwise is ignorance at best and insulting at worst.

I was talking specifically about his and my impressions of why the war started. Nothing else and I dont see an answer to that question. If Im mistaken please feel free to point it out to me.

As to the reason why I just want to take a disagreeing position is that we've done this dance before. From my point of view, by now it just seems like were an old married couple whos arguing about an aniverssary dinner 10 years prior and were at that point where the dinner has been eaten, enjoyed (or not enjoyed), and digested long ago

*wonders if that analogy makes as much sense to others*

But that isn't my argument. I'm not trying to convince you of the truth or falsehood of your belief, I'm trying to convince you that your convictions and statements alone are not going to convince others.

It is actually counterproductive - you will feel like you are beating against a wall.

When presented with a choice between alternatives that someone has made an emotional - rather than logical - judgment on, that person tends to gird up in the face of conflicting evidence, and beliefs become more and more ingrained, taking on a fervor that would otherwise be described as religious.

So you can say it as much as you want, of course. But it's only going to cause you frustration as people ignore it each time you bring it up. You only have your own experience to present on that, so we can't require that people pay heed to it, either, as opposed to dancing around ignoring some tangible fact or violating some tenet of civility that we can make into a clear cut rule for people to abide by.

Offline Brandon

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2010, 06:05:23 AM »
This just got really confusing to me. What I said was, for the people that take the position (Im paraphrasing here) "We didnt find any WMDs so we shouldnt have gone to Iraq", considering that hindsight is 20/20 I doubt they would take the same position if they were in President bushes position at the time. This is of course assuming that his reasons were legitimate.

Point out to me where I said anything about people that were against the war from the beginning

Offline Oniya

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Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2010, 08:45:57 AM »
It's the inclusiveness of the word 'us' and 'we' that I believe is causing some of the friction.  'Some people' and 'they' allows for the possibility that the person you are talking to might actually agree with you.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2010, 09:32:02 AM »
I hope USA soldiers are leaving or have actually left Iraq. I think we need to leave the Middle East to its own devices for a while. I think part of the problem with the Middle East is that we keep messing with it. We need to stop installing governments and then toppling them when they don't dance the way we want them to, and God help us for Isreal.

We need to give the people a break and stop dicking around for our own interests over there. That's my take.

+1

Ever since WWII the rest of the world has been trying to manipulate the Middle East for it's own advantage, alternately wooing it or screwing it over. It's no surprise that it has grown into a dysfunctional mess.

Offline Vekseid

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #39 on: August 25, 2010, 12:06:45 PM »
This just got really confusing to me. What I said was, for the people that take the position (Im paraphrasing here) "We didnt find any WMDs so we shouldnt have gone to Iraq", considering that hindsight is 20/20 I doubt they would take the same position if they were in President bushes position at the time. This is of course assuming that his reasons were legitimate.

Point out to me where I said anything about people that were against the war from the beginning

Edit: It's in calling it hindsight. There's no hindsight involved to be opposed to the war on moral grounds. If anything, it's a vindication of the foresight of those who opposed it.

Ignoring the pacifists on this board - in this thread, even - there is also the matter that we actually do now know the evidence that Bush and Cheney went to war with, as I said - Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi's torture. That sort of thing does not fly with most anyone here.

Every single piece of evidence the Bush administration presented, or was leaked from within the administration, could be identified by a rational person as tainted before the war began. Not all of it - such as the Downing Street Memo or what led to the Valerie Plame affair - was known by the public beforehand, but it was known to the administration beforehand.

Compare to how up front US intelligence was - and is - regarding the development of Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, about which nothing militarily was considered (even though we would have had a warmer welcome in Iran, by some accounts).

So no. It's not even in question. I wouldn't have gone to war. The pacifists here certainly wouldn't. I'd like to think that you wouldn't, yourself - but I don't know you.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 12:47:52 PM by Vekseid »

Offline Merlyn

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2010, 02:16:43 PM »
All I can say is I hope that we aren't turning Iraq into another Somalia.  From everything I've heard they've pulled out everyone except the special forces, which were left to 'advise' the Iraqi's. 

And yes, we all need to leave the middle east alone.  It seems that now instead of colonizing all of the modern countries simply try to force others to be how they want.  Then most likely use underhanded methods when they do something else.  Then when some extremists pop up, or a country says we hate you, no one seems to understand why.

Now, I know for a fact that the US hasn't completely left the region, I can't speak about Iraq, but I know for sure we still have troops in Afghanistan.  So chances are that a good amount of the troops were merely shifted around to get them out of the country, but keep them around just in case we needed to send them back in.

Offline Brandon

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2010, 06:43:40 PM »
Here's the problem as I see it right now Veks. I wanted you to look back, realize you were wrong, and then calm down. However, now I have got to point stuff out and pretty much dissect the English language

Quote from:  Veksied
What Trieste said - many of us opposed the war before it began, so to insinuate otherwise is ignorance at best and insulting at worst.

You're putting words in my mouth with comments like this. At no time did I say no one was opposed to the war to begin with. At no time did I even mention that group of people. You said that its in calling it hindsight, but obviously since you were opposed to the war from the beginning it doesn't apply to you. Neither do you fall into that group that spout "We (as in America) didn't find WMDs so we shouldn't have gone to Iraq". I'm guessing you didn't pick up on that exception but I can see how it could be overlooked

Now that that is out of the way, most likely you're going to concentrate on the below quote, especially with the bolded word

Quote
Also try to remember that hindsight is 20/20. Its easy for us to say "oh we shouldn't have gone there because there we didn't find any WMDs" because we know that's a fact now. I doubt anyone would have that same opinion  if they were in President Bush's shoes and given the same evidence he was.

When I said us, that applied any any human being who would take up that position. If you wouldn't take up that position then you do not fall within the purview of how I used the word us. Come to think of it I don't even fall within that group but I consider myself a human being so that's probably why I used it. In my own hindsight it probably would have worked better if I said "some people" but I didn't think of it at the time.

Really, my comments are not as evil and malicious as you seem to make them out to be.

Now if you want to go on, I'm fine with that. If I'm right the other topics are still my conviction and the legitimacy of the evidence that started the war. However you seem to be switching between these topics. Earlier when I made note of how you and I cant seem to agree you said that wasn't the issue, my conviction was, but in your last post it went back to the evidence that started the war in Iraq. I need to know what were really debating here. Ill tackle both topics, at least until I get bored or feel like were going in circles, but not at the same time

Offline itsbeenfun2000

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #42 on: August 25, 2010, 08:33:29 PM »
The only issue I had from the start of the war is being lied to. I think if we would have come out and said Saddam Hussein has killed more then a half a million people (crimes against humanity) many people would have completely agreed to go in and take care of that issue. Instead the administration had to make things up and rationalize it as protecting the United States.

After WWII and the lessons we learned then I don't think many of our citizens would have protested that we were taking out a mass murderer. Unlike WWII we didn't have a plan on what to do after that was done.


Offline Merlyn

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2010, 07:17:51 AM »
Well though they did kind of look for a reason to go in, there was intelligence that suggested Saddam had wmd's (even if it ended up being wrong).  That wasn't a lie.  Though I had always been rather upset that they included Iraq as being part of 'the war on terror' seeing as Saddam did not attack us.

And honestly I disagree about the protesting.  I think that especially since Vietnam our country is very much back to more of an isolationist perspective when it comes to war.  And I know of many people that had sad something along the lines of 'so what if he's killing people, it has nothing to do with us and we don't belong there' when the point of his mass murder was brought up.

Offline Trieste

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Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2010, 07:27:12 AM »
On the one hand, yes, genocide is terrible. You'll not find a single person who doesn't believe that, not a rational one anyway.

On the other hand, we let genocidal tyrants sit where they are every day and never bat an eye. There are so many screwed up countries in the world and - here's the kicker - the USA is not the world police. Especially not when the US army goes in against UN wishes. So instead of cherry-picking where we'll wage war and ending up leaving the region more crime-riddled and destitute than it was before, we need to be a little more careful about what we do and to whom we do it. Swinging our big stick around has cost us so much, and gained us very little. It was such an unpopular war at the start. You're trying to tell me that people better informed than your average citizen didn't ignore the warning signs? I don't think that's quite true.

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Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2010, 08:38:09 AM »
I can't speak for an American experience but the UK involvement in the invasion of Iraq has always been problematic to me.  I speak not of the demonstably- and at the time demonstrably- falsified evidence of WMD which Tony Blair supplied George Bush, shameful as it is, but the ridiculous assumption that, if there is a great wrong then Britain has to deal with it or at least be "in there with the rest".  America seems to have been infected with this same folly, though at least the US has the wherewithal to actually do something about it.

I remember reading a quote from 1967 by Enoch Powell (who died in 1998) that summed up the situation perfectly.  He was, by all accounts, a remarkably intelligent and eloquent man, which made his descent into intolerance and racism all the more saddening and dangerous.  However in his analyses of the British role in the Middle East he was chillingly on the money.  When I was looking for the quote (the first of those below) I found a few others which show that our current worries are nothing new.

I present them here to offer an interesting hisorical perspective on the situation in Iraq.
Quote from: Enoch Powell, 1967
In our imagination the vanishing last vestiges... of Britain's once vast Indian Empire  have transformed themselves into a peacekeeping role on which the sun never sets. Under God's good providence and in partnership with the United States, we keep the peace of the world and rush hither and thither containing Communism, putting out brush fires and coping with subversion. It is difficult to describe, without using terms derived from psychiatry, a notion having so few points of contact with reality.
Quote from: Enoch Powell, 1982
We were dragged into folly by the Americans over Iran. We were dragged into folly by the Americans over Afghanistan.
Quote from: Enoch Powell, 1982
We simply do not need to go chasing up and down after the vagaries of the next ignoramus to become President of the United States.
Quote from: Enoch Powell, 1990
The world is full of evil men engaged in doing evil things. That does not make us policemen to round them up nor judges to find them guilty and to sentence them. What is so special about the ruler of Iraq that we suddenly discover that we are to be his jailers and his judges? ... we as a nation have no interest in the existence or non-existence of Kuwait or, for that matter, Saudi Arabia as an independent state... I sometimes wonder if, when we shed our power, we omitted to shed our arrogance.

Offline Serephino

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #46 on: August 26, 2010, 10:08:07 PM »
I agree with Trieste here.  From what I've heard, China is horrible when it comes to human right's issues, but where is the outcry to invade them?  I remember hearing something about protests before the Olympics because of their doings in Tibet.  I've heard the rulers of Saudi Arabia are no angels, but we cozy up to them.  When I was a kid I met someone who's family were refugees from Sierra Leone, and I wonder why we aren't trying to save them too if that's our main goal.   

It seems like it's all about politics.  I was in my junior year of high school when this whole thing began, and even then I thought it was a bad idea.  It's really stupid to attack someone before they've even done anything in my opinion.  And from what I've gathered, Saddam had been making threats for years but never did anything.  He attacked Kuwait and got his ass handed to him.     

Offline Vekseid

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #47 on: August 27, 2010, 05:03:36 AM »
*snip*

No, I owe you an apology, that language was uncalled for on my part.

Quote
Really, my comments are not as evil and malicious as you seem to make them out to be.

I don't feel your comments are evil, Brandon. But openly declaring that you are going to ignore things is an example of your nature and reflects on how you are going to be perceived.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #48 on: August 27, 2010, 03:09:42 PM »
I reserve a decision on if we did a 'good job' if the same government/constitution is still in place 10 years from now, or if the 'greater Iranian state' has replaced it.

I have a LOT of misgivings about going in when we did. I agree that Sadam was a dangerous man who was totally toxic to anyone that crossed him (or appeared to) and that for that alone the Iraqi people are better off. Should we have done it then? Not in my opinion, Afganistan was more important to our problems with terrorists.

Due to the division of manpower and focus, we're now 7 or 8 years in Afganistan and the region isn't much more stable than it was before we threw out the Taliban.

10 years from now, if what we helped build is still there.. then I'll say we did right. If we're looking at a country torn by civil war with more civilian deaths and another Lebanon divided by factions I can't say we did right by those people. Too many things were done half assed in our move on Saddam.

Offline Jude

Re: USA leaving Iraq
« Reply #49 on: August 27, 2010, 04:10:31 PM »
That's one thing I think we can all agree on Callie.  The future will be the judge of whether or not Iraq was a worthwhile success.  It could go either way at this point, as far as I see it.