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Your Thoughts: Is the Iraq war really over?

In a speech to the nation last night, President Obama said he wants to "turn the page" on war and announced an end to combat in Iraq. Do you think the war is over, and was it worth it? Are we safer? Is Iraq better off for our involvement?

Share your comments in 200 words or less. The most insightful comments will be selected and included in a future Washington Post story.

By 44 Editor  |  September 1, 2010; 9:33 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

The war was triggered by 9/11, which Mr Bush saw as a challenge thrown to all of the free world, notably USA. He made the coalition of the willing and brought them to an invasion of Afghanistan, where the perpetrators of 9/11 had their planners and leaders. The war in Iraq was a diversion, which most people regarded as unnecessary. That war brought about the fall of Saddam Hussein, but, as in Afghanistan, it also caused complete and all round destruction of the infrastructure and of the machinery of governance. Mr Bush set out, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, to defeat Al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban: these bodies of terrorists are nowhere near defeated. And now, Mr Obama has ended the war in Iraq, and he is looking for an honourable exit from Afghanistan. Pray, what happened to the mission of making the free world safe from terrorists? That objective remains unrealized. One war has ended. Perhaps so will the other. No one is permitting himself to lapse into a mood of triumphalism, but the objectives of the wars have not been achieved. And now, more terrorists like the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan have also joined the ranks of the terrorists. The adversaries that the Isaf faces in AfPak are not merely confined to Afghanistan: there are large numbers of them in Pakistan, we are told, under the patronage of Pakistan Army and ISI. And yet US policy makers go on mouthing nauseating commitment to the security and stability of Pakistan, while the fact is that terrorists have their safe havens inside Pakistan, as do leaders of Al Qaeda. No one is looking at this aspect of the question. In my view, therefore, we are facing eventual failure of the effort in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, because we have failed to recognize who is with us and who is against us. That will be a sad day, whenever it comes, whether in July 2011 or whenever. If the most powerful State in the history of the world can do nothing better than this, then the rest of the world has no hope of doing better.
Meanwhile, both Iraq and Afghanistan are trying to put the pieces together in an effort to see if they can get the system to work again. They do not seem to be succeeding - so far. And in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Nor is Pakistan a glowing example of good administrantion and governance, with the Pakistan Army ever ready to take another try at power. Traditions of democracy do not grow in a hurry. But when were Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan places that were efficient state systems? No one has a living memory of such a time. Whatever system of administration they had has very nearly been destroyed by war in Afghanistan and Iraq and by floods in Pakistan, while terrorists show no sign of a let up in their intentions: some terrorist bodies even in the midst of Pakistan's floods have reared their heads again and have started to kill civilians. When shall we learn? V. C. Bhutani, vineycb1@vsnl.com, Delhi, India, Sep 3 2010, 0631 IST

Posted by: vineycb1 | September 2, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Caliphacy Note... no, it's not over because so much international damage has been done "seen and unseen" and weather or not the any tells the truth or not, that little white lie the banks and corporations and military under a twisted government and crazed contract security consulting firms, has for the most part made it very unsecured here and abroad for Americans and Normal U.S. citizens... no really because there is in fact a civil war going on and it's not going to be over until the confederacy of the Anti-Christ is destroyed COMPLETELY in all truth... in closing i'd just like to ad good deal Mr. Obama "now you have to get those fools out of Afghanistan...BECAUSE THEY'VE SET THEMSELVES UP TO BE TARGETS FOR THE MILITARY" you see there is a complete Islamic Military and us... everyone else is a suspected confederate... no really you'll see in a moment.

Posted by: ahmadmali | September 2, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

If The Obama said its over, its Over.

Posted by: jiji1 | September 1, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Today I heard John Boehner praising Bush for the 'Surge'. He will stoop to any means to go against any idea the other party has. Anyone who praises any of Bush's ideas has to be as warped as Bush himself. Boehner is the kind of politician that the US would be much better off without. He has no ideas of his own but he is against any idea good or bad of the other party. The Republicans are definitely the party of NO. I don't know why I am voting no but I will make something up later. Do I represent the people that elected me when I vote no? I don't really care about that, I just want to vote the opposite of the other party.

Posted by: racam | September 1, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

If The Obama said its over, its Over.

Posted by: jiji1 | September 1, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been left to clean up the mess of the last administation. His speech was dignified and that it is being torn apart by the vultures on the right is not a surprise. Why is their right mind could think we'd be better off if Bush was still in the White House?

Posted by: missxthe3rd | September 1, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been left to clean up the mess of the last administation. His speech was dignified and that it is being torn apart by the vultures on the right is not a surprise. Why is their right mind could think we'd be better off if Bush was still in the White House?

Posted by: missxthe3rd | September 1, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Hazmat77 @ September 1, 2010 11:37 AM wrote "We should and could have removed ourselves from the conflict in 2006."

Having gone in (which I opposed from 2002), we should have gotten out in May 2003, after Sistani told us almost literally 'You got rid of Saddam, now leave'. It was very good advice.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | September 1, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

We left south Korea nearly 60 years ago and we still have 40,000 troops remaining.
Iraqis Have Mixed Views on US Withdrawal
The United States might have handed over reponsibility for combat duties in Iraq, but Iraqis have mixed views on the withdrawal. While some welcome the exit of American troops, others think that their security forces are not ready to take over. http://www.newslook.com/videos/246429-iraqis-have-mixed-views-on-us-withdrawal?autoplay=true

Posted by: dbmetzger | September 1, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

No, it is not over: we still have 50,000 troops in Iraq and there is still a civil war going on.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | September 1, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

yes

Posted by: jnardo | September 1, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The Iraq War was over several years ago ... the "insugency" conducted by Al Qaeda and other groups was NOT part of the Iraq War. It was and remains a CIVIL WAR between the tribes of Iraq (along with Islamic sympathizers).

We should and could have removed ourselves from the conflict in 2006.

Bush & Rumsfeld should have increased the number of troops in 2003 or 2004 and the 2007 Surge would have been unnecessary. Poor military planning allowed too many exIraqi military to remain floating around Iraq, taking advantage of the weaponry Saddam stockpiled throughout the country, as well as help received from Iran.

Bush/Rumsfeld should have closed down the Iran/Iraq border to stop the flow of smuggled weaponry.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | September 1, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Aside from Obama and Biden not being on the same page, must say that Obama really seemed very tepid -- in fact, timid at points -- in his remarks. It was as if he did not feel comfortable saying what he was saying, and wanted very badly to get into the professorial mode.

Are combat operations over you ask? Well, do we still have troops in Iraq? Do we still have Special Operations forces in Iraq?

Will remind you that during the mid 90's Bill Clinton sent US forces to the Balkins for 'ONE YEAR'. IN 2010, we still have forces in the Balkans!

Just got the distinct impression that last night's speech was one to stiffen up his left wing base for November. Nothing more -- nothing less! He simply had DIFFICULTY STICKING TO THE SUBJECT!

For all of the buildup for a week, IT SURE WAS A DOWNER!

November cannot come soon enough!

Posted by: wheeljc | September 1, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Read an insider story about the current state of the hedge fund market:

http://proposition13.blogspot.com/2010/08/paragon-advertising-back-to-it.html

Posted by: freighter | September 1, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Was the mission worth 6000 American dead, 10's of thousands of US causalties, perhaps a million Iraq causalties, a trillion dollars of American treasure and a new 'Lost' generation? What was accomplished?

Yes, these are indeed questions for the historians, but now that active hostilites have been declared over for the US, of more immediate relevancy are the vital questions which may influence our future tendency as a nation to repeat this scenario:
1) Who was responsible for the War?
2) What will be the political and economic consequences for making the decision?
3)Do we want to continue to elect leadership that refuse to learn from our mistakes?

These ARE legitimate questions that beg to be answered and ought to be open for commentary and debate. No?

Posted by: oregonbirddog | September 1, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Is the combat over? Ask someone in the military thats been there and did the walk how can we know sitting in our recliners?
Our we safer, sure do you think if their top leaders were not killed in combate they would be here in America.

Posted by: connselmerstrike | September 1, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

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