Being a Naval Reserve Officer veteran with eight years of active duty — five during WWII and three more in the Korean Conflict —- it was with a sad and heavy heart that I read a recent article in a local newspaper concerning the unrest and upheavals continuing in Iraq after the U.S. won the Iraqi War several years ago.
As was published in an editorial in this local paper, "Fresh start in Iraq," Dec. 27, 2010, "If Iraq is to become the peaceful prosperous example of democracy in the Mideast that the U.S. wished it to be, then Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki must lead a truly representative government that offers the hope of a better life for all of its citizens."
With this statement I thoroughly agreed, and so stated in an open letter with the proviso that Mr. al-Maliki would definitely need the strong support of American troops, plus additional government officials, to assist Iraq in establishing her democracy just as the U.S. had done in Japan following our victory in WWII and in South Korea after the Korean Conflict where The U.S. has standing armies to this day to assure that these countries maintain governments of the people, for the people and by the people.
And the world should never forget this episode in Iraq, particularly we Americans, that cost us over 4,000 dead, more than 30,000 wounded and well in excess of a trillion dollars. The redemption was to be the first democratic country in the Middle East — an establishment for the whole wide world to behold, particularly Iraq's neighbors. More good news was the elimination of their butcher premier, Saddam Hussein.
Unfortunately, a severe bolt of lightning soon struck In Iraq in June 2011 when President Barack Obama announced that he would be withdrawing our troops from Iraq at the end of 2011. I believe this was a selfish egotistical maneuver by the president in order to enhance his chances to succeed in the 2012 election by sending our troops back to the U.S. to please the home folks.
This also meant that the U.S. had to return its winnings from the Iraqi War leaving our thoughts and prayers in remembrance of the Americans who lost their lives in this encounter which disgustingly proved all for naught.
Now with no U.S. support left in Iraq, the weakened nation immediately became a fierce battle ground for civil strife between the Shiites, Sunnis and other sects along with the infiltration of terrorist groups led by al-Qaida.
In fact, there were seven disturbing articles published in this local paper in 2012 that described several of the bombing and shooting attacks in Iraq which left 457 dead and 259 wounded and probably many more in each category as reported by the officials.
It certainly had become a most disgraceful and unstable condition in which the Iraqi natives were forced to live. If one should ask why, the answer is very sad indeed. It was because of President Obama's irresponsible foreign affairs decision to withdraw our troops and other military units from Iraq at the end of 2011.
What a catastrophe this maneuver soon became! How sorrowful it was that Iraq never really had the opportunity to develop into the first democratic nation in the Middle East with a well-fortified defense in order to be in an advantageous position to assist the embassy personnel in the other neighboring countries which could possibly have meant the salvation of the four lives lost in Libya, including Ambassador Stevens and his three cohorts.
It is sincerely hoped that in some way in the near future, the natives of Iraq will discover an avenue from which will evolve an inner strength guaranteeing a productive economy and a safe welfare enjoyed by all.
Quinton D. Thompson