Leaving Iraq with an uncertain future

The last U.S. combat troops have departed Iraq, leaving that country to figure out its own future. What did we accomplish? More than 4400 U.S. troops dead, tens of thousands of Iraqis dead, billions of U.S. dollars spent, Saddam Hussein hanged and Iraq’s fledgling democracy uncertain.
While many who were enthusiastic about invading Iraq — like Sen. John McCain — like to declare that “the surge worked,” Iraq is less stable than that would imply.
The Ramadan season has been deadly, with insurgents stepping up their attacks. There is still no power-sharing agreement between the major winners in March elections, so Iraq’s government is at stalemate.
And, with 50,000 US troops left in the country to train Iraq’s military and root out al-Qaida, the financial cost to American taxpayers approaches a trillion dollars. We’ll be paying that off for decades to come.

897 comments Add your comment

Peadawg

August 19th, 2010
6:58 am

” We’ll be paying that off for decades to come.”

Same with the deficit that Obama’s adding to, but of course it’s only Bush’s fault. :roll:

granny godzilla

August 19th, 2010
7:07 am

We all new there would be violence when we left and frankly it could be a hell of a lot worse.

It’s the price we have to pay for the foolishness that was Bush’s foray into Iraq, a nation that did not attack us.

They are not waving good-bye to us as liberators either.

Peadawg

August 19th, 2010
7:11 am

I do have one good comment for Cynthia. This is the first article this week that you didn’t include some snide, bytchy, smartars remark about Republicans. You’re making progress!

kayaker 71

August 19th, 2010
7:16 am

Peadawg,

The day is not over.

Normal

August 19th, 2010
7:19 am

As you said, we are leaving 50,000 targets in Iraq. The “Last” Combat Brigade is simply a political move to molify the Anti-war people like me.

We have spent 4400+ lives and countless billions of dollars simply to delay the bloodbath that is to come. I believe Iraq will be lost, taken over by Iran. It’s anybody’s guess as to whether it will be through a “vote”, or by outright military action. If they “vote” themselves into an alliance with Iran, we are truly screwed. If Iran uses military action to accomplish their aims, unless we DECLARE UNRESTRICTED WAR, we are truly screwed also. Talk about your Domino Theory. First Iraq, then Kuwait,…after that? It will be less oil for us for sure.

TaxPayer

August 19th, 2010
7:23 am

Nothing that another tax cut won’t pay for, according to GOP “logic”. So, any time a new bill comes along, cut taxes to pay for it. By the way, we’re spending close to a trillion dollars per year on the DoD so we’re gonna need a LOT of tax cuts to pay for that. I’ll be laffing all the way to the bank with that tax refund check.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 19th, 2010
7:25 am

Tax cut? No. Some govt entitlment cuts are definitly in order…welfare, food stamps, Section 8 housing and there certainly are many others that could be done away with completely.

TaxPayer

August 19th, 2010
7:30 am

On the brighter side, every Iraqi got a free deck of playing cards as a memento of a shockingly awesome good time. And lots of free fireworks. They could have have gotten a better deal at WalMart though.

kayaker 71

August 19th, 2010
7:33 am

If it were not for the oil, we would have never gone. This BS about creating a Democracy in Iraq is a myth and can never happen. The Shias and Sunnies will never co-exist side by side in Iraq. With Islam controlling all of these countries, there is little hope for a Democracy. But all of you soccer moms out there can thank the US military and all 4400 or so soldiers who gave their lives so that your kids will not be bothered by interruptions when watching the latest episode of American Idol and your SUV will have all of the gas you can buy. BTW, I wonder how many military who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan would approve of a mosque near ground zero.

Union

August 19th, 2010
7:38 am

i dont understand what we will be paying off?? dems and liberals have been saying this was a war for oil before it even started.. that wasnt incorrect was it?

Andy in Blairsville

August 19th, 2010
7:44 am

The only “victory” in any country in the Middle East would be from nuclear annihilation. Since the US has yet to do that in Iraq or A’stan they are both a losing proposition.

You can’t “nation build” when said nation’s people still live in the 11th century and their men would rather fornicate with young boys, goats and donkeys rather than their own wives.

paleo neo-Carlinist

August 19th, 2010
7:47 am

kayaker71, your mawkish prose or empty. you accept the invasion was about oil, then you lament the 4400 lives lost, but blame the “soccer moms” and opine about a mosque? you were a soldier, correct? did you not swear to “defend the Constitution”? the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion – for example, the right od any faith to to build a house of worship on private property. soldiers are not sworn to procure resources for corporations to refine and sell back to Americans, or to be used as decoys (”bring democracy to the Middle East”).

Peadawg

August 19th, 2010
7:48 am

“So, any time a new bill comes along, cut taxes to pay for it.”

As opposed to Obama’s plan, which is……..I still don’t know. He hasn’t cut a damn thing since he’s been in office.

paleo neo-Carlinist

August 19th, 2010
7:50 am

Union, you obviously missed the part about the tens of thousands of servicemen who have been seriously wounded and disabled. and since we put the war on a credit card, we have yet to pay it off. contrary to the bait and switch pitch offered by Bush & Co., the war was not funded with Iraqi oil.

Jason

August 19th, 2010
7:51 am

Peadawg just remember this one important thing!

Obama didn’t start the war, but he ended it! Enough Said.

Peadawg

August 19th, 2010
7:53 am

“Peadawg just remember this one important thing!

Obama didn’t start the war, but he ended it! Enough Said.”

True and finally. And don’t forget this either. Obama didn’t create the deficit, but sure as heck is adding to it. Enough said.

paleo neo-Carlinist

August 19th, 2010
7:53 am

Andy, while I agree we should be “all in” (nukes or go home), I believe it is not possible to “fornicate” with one’s wife. I don’t use the word (has too much religious dna), but I believe it refers to sex out of wedlock.

TaxPayer

August 19th, 2010
7:55 am

Perhaps Rupert will donate a million dollars to the Iraqi Republican Party to help get them started down the road to building a democracy.

Jason

August 19th, 2010
7:56 am

And I guess you was on board for the Bush tax cuts for the rich!

We all know the iraq war was a joke from the start, the economy was bad before obama took office so give the guy a break. You act like bush didn’t add to the deficit.

Normal

August 19th, 2010
7:58 am

kayaker 71

August 19th, 2010
7:33 am

Good morning 71, (sounds like a James Bond movie :) )

I agree with what you said there, mostly, but the question about how would the Vets feel is a good one. I want you to hear my version.

As you know, I am a Viet Nam Vet, Navy and “in country”. I spent two complete tours there and about half of the third.

When it was pointed out to me that the vietnamese were coming here to work and live, I was disturbed…at first. I mean, they were taking over whole sections of cities, bullying their way into the Gulf fishing Industries, setting up businesses in clothing care…and they kept to theirselves. In short, they came here to live a version of their home.

Over time, even after all of the dire predictions of doom, nothing happened. They still keep to themselves, but mostly they pay taxes and have become part of our system. Anyway, I came around and saw there was no problem. As an aside, I worked with a Viet who admitted he had been NVA. When we sat down and compared notes, I probably fought his unit during TET. He was OK though and I grew to like him. Once, over our work benchs, I pointed my finger like a pistol at him and mouthed “bang”. He laughed and said, “You missed me then, and you missed me now”. That got a grin from me.

Anyway, My concern here is why everybody keeps calling this a Mosque?
It is a Community Center and the Mosque is just a small part of that center. Calling the whole thing a Mosque is, in my mind, just more fear mongering and we don’t need that. So, bottom line, I have no problem ith the Center.
This editorial is the opinion of “Normal” only and in no way reflects the opinions of Ms Tucker… :D

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 19th, 2010
7:25 am

If you did away with all those “entitlements”, you think Atlanta’s panhandlers are bad now? Wow….

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 19th, 2010
7:59 am

Sorry dude…Obama owns it and his big mouth, grandiose plans and arrogance will be his downfall. Im so looking forward to it!!

TaxPayer

August 19th, 2010
7:59 am

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 19th, 2010
7:59 am

I guess…I dont visit the cesspool that is Atlanta.

South Georgia Farmer

August 19th, 2010
8:00 am

Will someone please enlighten Peadawg on the difference between an article and an opinion piece. Peadawg, Cynthia, Bookman, Wingfield and Wooten write opinion columns not articles, and they aren’t meant to be provocative.

Union

August 19th, 2010
8:00 am

paleo – nope.. have not missed a thing.. kind of funny how liberals now “care” about the troops.. at the beginning it was all about the oil.. then about the iraqis.. then about our tropps.. no.. i really dont think I missed a thing..

Peadawg

August 19th, 2010
8:00 am

“You act like bush didn’t add to the deficit.”

Nope, I never said that. I know he created this mess. But what has Obama done to help? That’s my point. He’s had over 2 years and still no change. Obama = Bush.

T-Town

August 19th, 2010
8:01 am

I thought the combat troops were in country to root out al-Qaida and train with the Iraqi soldiers? So let me get this straight, the combat troops have left but we leave 50,000 non-combat (who still can be killed) soldiers to train and root out al-Qaida. I guess I’m having trouble with the we have ended the war, but we’re still there looking for al-Qaida.

Peadawg

August 19th, 2010
8:02 am

South Georgia Farmer, please don’t compare Bookman w/ Cynthia. That’s an insult to Bookman. Bookman can atleast admit a mistake and doesn’t take a jab at Republicans every chance he gets. His opinions are a lot more respectable than Cynthia’s.

Jason

August 19th, 2010
8:04 am

Wow No Change!

I guess ending 1 war, and setting a timeline drawdown for the next one is no change in your case. Obama is not another bush, did you not see how many times the guy was caught telling lies on national tv. And don’t forget he let osama get away.

Peadawg

August 19th, 2010
8:06 am

Jason, in regards to the deficit, spending, unemployment…no there is no change.

Union

August 19th, 2010
8:07 am

t-town – its the way of the dems.. the masses are so stupid.. they will believe just about anything.. kind of like ctuckers column yesterday.. calling out beck.. dont seem to remember beck nearly tearing a city apart and inciting race war over a lie… but then again.. sharpton gets a pass.. gee wonder why.. so lets call out beck.. lol

andygrd

August 19th, 2010
8:10 am

Enter your comments here

Jason

August 19th, 2010
8:11 am

How can the economy get better if everyone is worried about getting laid off. Thats where the stimulus spending comes from. And the unemployed needs help so why not help.

andygrd

August 19th, 2010
8:11 am

The results, let’s see, voting rights for men and woman; schools built and young girls are attending regularly (Ms. T, think you would want to Champion that cause); the governing body of Iraq is made up of different groups, no longer is the Bathh party in power and discriminating against other groups (you know, the gassing of the Kurds, woman and children); medical clinics built and people trained….. Shall I continue…. We are training individuals across all walks of life to grow a country….. to self rule….

And a fledging Government,,, hum, seems to me it took the thirteen American Colonies, I think 11 years working together to write and agree on Constitution? And they were working towards a common goal…..

As a retired Military Officer, I mourn the loss of our troops who died fighting “radical Muslim extremists” bent of the destroying the rights and lives of others… Should we have intervened… Sometime I wonder about it… And if democracy is so bad, or the freedoms we cherish so bad, the majority of the Iraqi people would have revolted against the Americans even more.. But you have a few “radical Muslim extremists” that are of the old ways… let’s see, lets stone a few woman, lets deny schooling for the children, let’s go back to the secret police rounding up people and taking them away…… lets gas a few more people that don’t agree with us…..

Since this was President Bush’s war, and I will admit mistakes were made, the leftwing media always portrayed the negatives of the war… very seldom did they ever portray all the positives and accomplishments…. And the positive effects on the Iraq populace….. How many of the news media ever went to Iraq to see firsthand the positives,,,, not many I would say, it is easier to hide behind a computer in the USA where you are protected and safe and whine….

So you liberals keep whining and complaining… blah, blah blah….

buck@gon

August 19th, 2010
8:11 am

A trillion for Iraq? OK, well that’s a better investment by any performance standard than incessant Democrat bailouts of labor unions’ pension funds.

Cynthia Is Sexy!!

August 19th, 2010
8:11 am

Correct, Imam Obama is not Bush. His, The Imams, arrogance factor is off the scale as is his ignorance factor. The Imam may be hah-vuhd educated but applying what he learned to real life situation doenst seem to be his forte’. He also excels in double-talk,back pedaling, alienating (many and those in his own party), misunderstanding issues, foot-n-mouth disease, being aloof, polarization and in general just being out of touch.

The Imam will soon be a Lame-Duck, for the most part. Then tossed out of office come the next presidential elections. OH HAPPY DAY!

Paul

August 19th, 2010
8:13 am

“While many who were enthusiastic about invading Iraq — like Sen. John McCain — like to declare that “the surge worked,” Iraq is less stable than that would imply.”

Three somewhat-related, yet disjointed, concepts in one sentence.

“Sen McCain and others enthusiastic about invasion” – there’s one.

“Those people like to declare ’surge worked’” – that’s two. I suppose that’s in contrast to those who who were opposed to the invasion (or the surge) recognizing the surge achieved its aims (even if politics prevents them from acknowledging it in public, right, Mr. President?). And before people jump on that comment, it’d be good to review the purposes of the surge, a main one being to give Iraqis the time to establish their own gov’t. Whether they used the time or did an effective job is quite another issue (you can give your kid the opportunity for higher education. Whether or not they go to class, study or graduate is up to them).

“Iraq is less stable than that would imply” – how is stability implied?

And, of course, the other issue not covered is what the situation would be now in Iraq if Sen Obama’s decision had gone thru and there had been no surge. But I’ll give him credit for something – he learns and adapts. Else why would he have taken essentially the same course in Afghanistan as Pres Bush took in Iraq? (get ready for the Googlies replying with “but that’s different “). And then there’s the issue of why he was opposed to the surge, yet campaigned on keeping American troops there for as long as anyone can see.

Or back to Afghanistan, why he decided to follow the Bush Plan of nation-building and establishing a centralized democracy in a 10-th century tribal society. This is one area where VP Biden might’ve been a better choice for president.

Peadawg

August 19th, 2010
8:15 am

Jason, it sounds like you’re in denial and making excuses for Bush, I mean Obama.

Southern Comfort

August 19th, 2010
8:16 am

As opposed to Obama’s plan, which is……..I still don’t know. He hasn’t cut a damn thing since he’s been in office.

There were tax cuts that made up a good part of the stimulus package. However, since the cuts were not skewed towards the top 1%, they don’t really count as tax cuts, right?

David S

August 19th, 2010
8:16 am

Iraq was a total and complete victory for Osama Bin Laden. He said that his goal was to draw us into a conflict in the Middle East that would bankrupt this country and he succeeded, along with the help of Bush, Obama, and all the idiot neoconservatives both in Washington and all over this country that believe this had anything to do with 9-11 or WMD. Thanks a lot folks. We are now poorer and far less safe than we were before 9-11 and even more folks hate us all over the world for what we have done to the Afghani and Iraqi people.

I know I am proud.

And nothing in Iraq has changed. You don’t leave 50,000 troops anywhere and say that combat operations are over. The killing has just begun.

Normal

August 19th, 2010
8:17 am

Peadawg

August 19th, 2010
8:06 am

Peadawg, good morning to you.

He inherited the deficit and , yes he has had to spend. My gripe about that is not he spent but as to how he spent.

Let me ask this. What would you have President Obama do about unemployment? As long as corporations won’t hire, there will be high unemployment. Would you have the President order those Corporations to hire? I think the only way he could do that is by nationalizing that corporation. If that ever happens, you would scream “Socialism” or worse. So what should he do?

Paul

August 19th, 2010
8:17 am

Morning, TaxPayer

Taxes reduced?

I was scanning the FM dial the other day and up popped Hannity. Seems our local AM talk station’s gone to FM. I stuck around just long enough to hear this (paraphrased) gem: “Pres Obama says he’s cut taxes on the middle class. Well, he’s increased taxes on business and those costs get passed on to consumers, so all consumers have a tax increase.”

It’s too early for my head to explode -

southerngal

August 19th, 2010
8:18 am

Never have understood why the US gets involved in other countries conflicts.

We need to stop trying to police the world and let them deal with their own problems.

Peadawg

August 19th, 2010
8:18 am

“However, since the cuts were not skewed towards the top 1%, they don’t really count as tax cuts, right?”

You’re ASSuming too much. I think the rich SHOULD pay more in taxes since they can obviously afford it.

Keep up the good fight!

August 19th, 2010
8:18 am

Ahh, some more Peabrained absurdity…. the debt from a war that was unnecessary and started over an ego of a Pres/VP with lies and deceit of the American people is somehow equivalent over the debt incurred trying to stimulate a failed economy left by that same President. The puppet the Bushies wanted to put in rejected, thousands of Americans killed and the real war that needed to be won ignored.

Oh yes, be proud crazy cons. Be proud that you know want to take on an entire religion for the few crazies as if the Christians don’t have their share of crazies. Be proud for ignoring the Constitution. I want my country back….from the crazy cons!

TaxPayer

August 19th, 2010
8:19 am

Well, the “Mission Accomplished” banner is paid for so Obama should take as much advantage of it as Bush did. Does the air force make a jump suit for someone as tall as Obama. I suppose they could let out the legs in that one that Bush borrowed.

Jason

August 19th, 2010
8:20 am

The only thing I look at are the facts. While I agree with the first war, I know even you can agree the second one was a joke Bush! The facts show the the private sector is unwilling too hire so that is where jobs come in, no jobs=higher unemployment=more spending.

Peadawg

August 19th, 2010
8:21 am

Mornin’ Normal. Kinda stinks around here w/out Bookman’s blog, doesn’t it?

“So what should he do?”

All I can say is thank goodness I’m not President. With all his advisors and experts you’d expect him to do SOMETHING about it. But unemployment hasn’t gone down since he got elected.

kayaker 71

August 19th, 2010
8:21 am

paleo neo-Carlinist,

Did you serve? And what makes you an armchair expert on Constitutional law? I’m not blaming anyone. I didn’t blame anyone when I returned from VN or the first Gulf war. But I do lament the indifference that most Americans have about wars of this kind. They send the cannon fodder off to fight this kind of war and then get off the hook, as Bozo most aptly did, by saying that all of them are volunteers so they have no one to blame but themselves for being there. Unless the average American has a son/daughter in the war zone, the indifference of the elitist anti-war liberal like Bozo and you is remarkable. And then you make a smartassed remark about the Constitution. The commitment to send young people into harm’s way is a sober one at best/worst and to pass it off by saying that we took an oath to defend the Constitution is not only trite but uncaring. That must make it OK, is that what you are saying? Get off your pedestal, the rarefied air up there is making you look stupid.

Normal

August 19th, 2010
8:22 am

Paul,

Or back to Afghanistan, why he decided to follow the Bush Plan of nation-building and establishing a centralized democracy in a 10-th century tribal society. This is one area where VP Biden might’ve been a better choice for president.

This should prove that President Obama is no Muslim. He has no concept to the true social situation in Afghanistan.