In his recent letter ("Obama's decision to leave Iraq led to catastrophe," April 5), Quinton D. Thompson writes that he "knew that one day havoc would break out in the wake of President Obama's irresponsible decision to abandon Iraq." Later on, he writes, "Unfortunately, a man-made bolt of lightning struck in Iraq on Dec. 31, 2011, when President Obama withdrew our troops — a selfish, egotistical maneuver on his part to please the folks back home in order to enhance his re-election chances in 2012."

Apparently, Mr. Thompson doesn't remember back to November of 2008 when the Status of Forces Agreement was ratified by Iraqi lawmakers that stated, in part: "All the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory no later than December 31, 2011." This SOFA was also signed by President George W. Bush, a Republican if I recall correctly. The agreement to leave Iraq by 2011 dates from 2008 when President Bush, before leaving office, made a farewell visit to Baghdad that was disrupted when an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at him and denounced him as a "dog."

I say, good for President Barack Obama for standing by the agreement he inherited. What's "irresponsible" about that? I believe the most "irresponsible" move in this situation was the decision by President Bush to invade Iraq based on contrived and manufactured lies. That, Mr. Thompson, led to catastrophe.

David Gosey, Towson

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