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Archive for Saturday, October 22, 2011

Obama: Iraq war over, U.S. troops coming home

October 22, 2011

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— America’s long and deeply unpopular war in Iraq will be over by year’s end and all U.S. troops ‘‘will definitely be home for the holidays,” President Barack Obama declared Friday.

Stretching more than eight years, the war cost the United States heavily: More than 4,400 members of the military have been killed, and more than 32,000 have been wounded.

The final exit date was sealed after months of intensive talks between Washington and Baghdad failed to reach agreement on conditions for leaving several thousand U.S. troops in Iraq as a training force. The U.S. also had been interested in keeping a small force to help the Iraqis deal with possible Iranian meddling.

The task now is to speed the pullout of the remaining U.S. forces, nearly 40,000 in number.

Staying behind in Iraq, where bombings and other violence still occur, will be some 150-200 U.S. military troops as part of embassy security, the defense attaché’s office and the office of security cooperation. That’s common practice but still a danger to American forces.

Obama, an opponent of the war since before he took office, nevertheless praised the efforts of U.S. troops in Iraq. He said American soldiers would leave “with their heads held high, proud of their success.”

For Obama, Friday’s announcement capped a remarkable two days of national security successes, though there’s no indication how much they will matter to re-election voters more concerned with economic woes at home.

On Thursday, the president heralded the death of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and a day later the end to one of the most divisive conflicts in U.S. history.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the U.S. more than $1.3 trillion.

Obama did not declare victory.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

What about the 100,000 USA mercenaries in the area? They are on the USA payroll so fire them!

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uncleandyt 2 years, 9 months ago

The mercenaries are real. The immaginary sloths have tenure.

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Kate Rogge 2 years, 9 months ago

Great. I'm glad he did and that the troops are finally coming home.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

"So next year when Iraq blows up,"

It's already done that several times over the last few years. Keeping US troops there will not solve Iraq's problems-- all that does is keep US soldiers at risk, and costs US taxpayers several $billion of borrowed Chinese dollars a month.

"People are fed up with the economic malaise"

I agree-- We're getting out of Iraq, the first grand mess BushCo gifted to this country. Maybe next we can rid ourselves of the economic collapse they caused.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

So now we have more troops available to send to Uganda...

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grammaddy 2 years, 9 months ago

Your side? Are we not ALL Americans? Do you think the troops think of it that way?

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Corey Williams 2 years, 9 months ago

Not "What, did we win?" What did we gain from our excursion into Iraq? Did we gain any more freedoms? I heard the soldiers there were fighting for our freedom.

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uncleandyt 2 years, 9 months ago

History doesn't show how many people we slaughtered. History omits a lot of important stuff. "History" should not be confused with brainwashings from corporate media. The defense contractors won.

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canyon_wren 2 years, 9 months ago

Nixon ended the Viet Nam war but no one praised him for that--or even acknowledges it now . If Obama thinks it will win him points, I suspect he will be disappointed--especially when things fall totally apart over there. Not that I am in favor of the Mideast wars--they are pointless and only result in the needless deaths of American troops, and any idea of changing those countries is "pie in the sky." It is just sickening to realize all our actions abroad are political and/or based on greed (or both), but "it was ever thus."

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

"Nixon ended the Viet Nam war but no one praised him for that--or even acknowledges it now ."

That's because he greatly expanded it before ending it, costing the needless loss of millions of lives.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Are you serious? Or were just not alive during that period?

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 9 months ago

Just substitute "tens of thousands of lives" for "millions of lives" and BornAgain's objection goes away.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

After Nixon became president, the war was spread to both Laos and Cambodia, and there were quite literally millions of people killed in the more than 6 years that the Viet Nam/SE Asian war was under Nixon's watch.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 9 months ago

The first comment had to do with Viet Nam, as did BornAgain's request for a source. If you're going to expand it to include the entire region, and then you're going to throw out the "millions" claim, then perhaps you should include a source.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, but it isn't my responsibility to find a source to correct anyone's ignorance of what's rather well-known history.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 9 months ago

Your statements are unclear. "Millions" were not killed in Viet Nam during the Nixon years. If that's your statement, you're wrong. If you are expanding it to include the entire region, and you're expanding it to include events that happened after the Nixon years, but then postulating that those events were a consequence of actions that happened during the Nixon years, then you need to be more clear as to what you are referring to.
Or you could just say, "oops, I meant to say tens of thousands were killed in Viet Nam during the Nixon years".

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Nixon's (and Kissingers) actions most certainly did expand the war into Cambodia and Laos, and caused the subsequent collapse of those countries. They set it in motion, and the blood of millions of people is most certainly on their hands.

Regardless of what happened in those two countries, during the period between 1969 and 1975, the number of Vietnamese killed, civilian and military, north and south, was well over 1 million.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Jeez, George, you, too? Have you never heard of google, or the literally thousands of links that give you the info you're too lazy to look up for yourself?

Or are you just using your laziness as justification for your willful ignorance?

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 9 months ago

I looked at those numbers as well. They were for the years 1955-75. Bozo's comment were for the Nixon years. And the Khmer Rouge years in Cambodia began in 1976, after Nixon left office.
Maybe it's a little nit-picking, but again, I'm not sure Bozo's comment of millions (more than one) can be supported.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 9 months ago

Maybe. But then I think it would be appropriate to provide a source, the original point of this whole line of thought.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 9 months ago

Your link says agent orange was used from 1965-71. Nixon served from 1969-74. It would be difficult to attribute it's usage to Nixon, he inherited the program and then ended it. Blaming him would be like calling Iraq Obama's war, not Bush's.
I never liked Nixon, even going so far as to voting for his Democratic opponent (as opposed to my general rule of voting for third party candidates. I've never voted Republican). That said, I still think the "millions killed" statement by Bozo is an exaggeration.

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grammaddy 2 years, 9 months ago

Nixon ended the war in Viet Nam to try and save face after Watergate, just as he gave his office to his Vice President in exchange for immunity from prosecution for his watergate crimes. He knew exactly what he was doing and what his legacy would be if he didn't.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 9 months ago

Could he have ended it because most of us wanted it ended? I thought hr ran on getting us out??!!

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Kate Rogge 2 years, 9 months ago

He ran on "I have a plan to end the Vietnam War" and my parents voted for him because of that pledge. He never explained his plan (would he have gotten away with that today?) and it turned out to be three more years of death and war. Some plan, huh?

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George Lippencott 2 years, 9 months ago

Well I got out and I was not replaced. In fact most of us got out by late 71 The locals took over most of the war - like in Iraq now. I help give a major AF Base to the locals.

Somehow we need to be able to talk about military things without all the bias

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George Lippencott 2 years, 9 months ago

I thought this has been the plan since Bush time? Is the last 10,000 that were under discussion really that significant?

The Iraqis have been consistent for years that they want us out. It is their country! Is this really news?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

"I thought this has been the plan since Bush time?"

You are correct. They are merely following the agreement that was made by Bush 3 years ago, although I don't think that either BushCo or Obama really intended that the troops would actually be withdrawn by the end of this year.

If Obama could have gotten immunity for the troops from the Iraqis, they'd likely be there much longer.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

let's see....no wmds.....let's see.....lemmings in denial....check..... osama caught....not by bush.....khadafi caught....not by bush... and for a mere fraction of cost in comparison to the bushco haliburton neocon lies of the last decade which got the US in hock to China....let me see....like KU football you people claim you're winning as you're owned....gop platform 2012..... idiocy and denial.....that's the ticket.....winning.....

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Fossick 2 years, 9 months ago

If Obama pulls this off, props to him. No ifs, ands, buts, or maybes. I bought my party hat, but I'm not putting it on until the troops are home.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

you know this whole Barack Hussein Obama thing that the archie bunkers use as a code language epithet for slurring Muslim people when the President is Christian is not racist at all. It's no more racist than using the name James Earl Ray or Jimmy Ray Jones or the whole southern use of three name titles to describe the racists I grew up around in Louisiana and Mississippi in the 1970's. You know that whatever code language you use can be reversed on you right???? Let's see....class warfare has always existed.....it's nice that someone has the courage to take on the beneficiaries of indian land acquisition and free plantation labor for not doing the elbow work themselves and being mentally and physically lazy in threatening, imprisoning, and killing others to get the work done for them. It's telling when CSX and a number of old money companies on the eastern seaboard are taken to court in class actions suits for benefitting from slave labor in the past building railroads in the Piedmont area and Appalachain mountains. Uh oh....someone knows history....you better call George Will and Pat Buchanan to bad mouth them....

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

We can leave Iraq now that all of the weapons of mass destruction have been found and eradicated.

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

The Iraq war was a war of choice by Bushco based on lies and trumped up threats. Let's not forget that. Iraq did not attack us.

It was a multi trillion dollar boondoggle that has nearly bankrupted this country. Bushco paid for this war by borrowing and deficit spending.

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Kate Rogge 2 years, 9 months ago

Last time I checked, we have expanded health care, the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and two liberal women on the Supreme Court. I don't like everything he's done or failed to do, but, by God, I do like him much better than anything the Republicans have managed to put together for 2012. He's got my vote.

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

Credible intel? Please. Trumped up lies. Some democrats believed the Bush administration because they believed the president wouldn't lie. Bush and company lied.

And we entered a multi trillion dollar war of choice boondoggle that was paid for on borrowed money and nearly bankrupted the country.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 9 months ago

you don't get it math....your candidates are raging lunatics....what's a world issue genuis? it's not who hired illegals to do lawn work genuis....it's uz beki-beki-beki- stan with a mobster pizza genuis.....your people for the most part are unqualified isolationists peddling their wares to archie bunker fox watchers. I watched that debate and saw all the white people in the audience except for one sellout bankrupt Native American who sang "Danke Sein" fifty three years ago and has since washed out in Vegas. Mr. Obama has delivered as much as a bunch of isolationist, closet racist, obstructionists would let him. If we're on the Titanic as you so paranoidly claim, obstructionists are part of the reason we're here. I know your whole ploy....build the guy up with stupid names like the annoited one and then plant political roadblocks which you amnesia afflected denialists deny....and then pass the blame on....eight years of total destruction....fixing to end... and the people responsible want to call failure two or three years out???? really....do you think we really want 1984 back.....really????

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kingt 2 years, 9 months ago

Well THANK GOD WE CAN FINALLY SEE OUR TROOPS

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

@only meth:

Credible intel? Please. Trumped up lies. Some democrats believed the Bush administration because they believed the president wouldn't lie. Bush and company lied.

And we entered a multi trillion dollar war of choice boondoggle that was paid for on borrowed money and nearly bankrupted the country.

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Fossick 2 years, 9 months ago

"Trumped up lies. Some democrats believed the Bush administration because they believed the president wouldn't lie. Bush and company lied."

Dude, pull your head out of the memory hole. Iraq and WMDs was a running theme for years before Bush was elected:

"Since the invasion of Iraq a year ago, no weapons of mass destruction have been found. The Bush administration has cited evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime had the capability to produce such weapons.

"The lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq contradicts years of intelligence indicating Saddam had such weapons, which also was the conclusion of officials in the Clinton administration." http://articles.cnn.com/2004-04-21/politics/iraq.hillary_1_weapons-inspection-process-iraq-vote-saddam-hussein?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS

Here's a few:

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." -- President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." -- President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." -- Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." -- Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." -- Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." -- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1999.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." -- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999. Context available at: http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp

The whole "Bush Lied People Died" meme is a pathetic attempt to by Democrats to deny responsibility for their own statements and actions. It's not pathetic because politicians lie - of course they do. It's pathetic because so many people are ignorant enough that they believe the lies or partisan enough that they perpetuate them even when they know better.

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

Where were those WMD? Yes, Hussein was a threat, and he had plans for WMD.

But the fact is he didn't have them. Our intelligence services were aware of this, and Bushco lied and said they existed, when in fact US intelligence was uncertain at best.

Bushco used fear of and lies about WMD to attack Iraq in a nation building exercise to depose Hussein.

Google "New American Century" for more information.

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Fossick 2 years, 9 months ago

"Bushco used fear of and lies about WMD to attack Iraq in a nation building exercise to depose Hussein."

Then Clinton used the same when he attacked Iraq in Operation Desert Fox:

"OPERATION NAME: Operation Desert Fox MISSION: To strike military and security targets in Iraq that contribute to Iraq's ability to produce, store, maintain and deliver weapons of mass destruction." http://www.defense.gov/specials/desert_fox/

Clinton didn't drop bombs on "plans," he dropped bombs on real sites. Now, either we believed he had those weapons and the capacity for making them or we didn't. It we didn't, then Clinton lied, too*. In the interest of honesty, that needs to be part of your story.

But this one is laughable: "Some democrats believed the Bush administration because they believed the president wouldn't lie."

Are the Democrats so ignorant that they have never heard of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident? Your entire rant is an effort to shift blame from adults who deserve just as much of it as "BushCo." Presenting them as naive little children does not help their case, I'm afraid.

  • It's no excuse for Bush, obviously, and I am no fan of nation building. We should have been out in 2004.
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jaywalker 2 years, 9 months ago

"That's because he greatly expanded it before ending it, costing the needless loss of millions of lives."

That scent in the air? Vacuity. By bozo.

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jaywalker 2 years, 9 months ago

That's twice now with the extender! Love it!

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oldbaldguy 2 years, 9 months ago

i was one of the duped that was for the invasion in 2003. because of my military background I believed the statements about wmd because Hussein did have them in 1991. I saw mustard gas rounds when I was there. Who would have thought they would get rid of them? It is time to leave. One of my sons left in July 2011, I do not want him to go back. Iraq was a mistake from the start. Can any one say we helped Iraq with the exception of the removal of Hussein and his cronies? Was it worth it? Time will tell but probably not.

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