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Surge of al-Qaida in Iraq a result of U.S. policy [Letter]

The aggressive civil strife occurring in Iraq among the various sects, particularly the Sunnis and Shiites as related in The Baltimore Sun ("Distrust hurts U.S.-Iraq fight against al-Qaida," Jan. 5), supports my observation that the greatest mistake President Barack Obama has ever made in his Middle East policy was to withdraw our troops from Iraq at the end of 2011. Sadly, this was nothing more than an obvious political ploy to enhance his chances of being re-elected in 2012. It eliminated all avenues for the development of a democratic country in the Middle East from which our association with the surrounding countries would have become far more peaceful and productive.

And now, all Hell has broken loose again with radical groups, particularly al-Qaida, establishing strong footholds there in order to undermine Iraq's relationship with the U.S. which would automatically give them a station from which they could plan future operations aimed at damaging the influence and status of our democratic country.

Quinton D. Thompson, Towson

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