There are tears in my eyes and aches in my heart as I have just completed reading some newspaper articles on the outbreaks and explosions currently occurring in Iraq ("Militants make gains in push to reach Baghdad," June 12) as well as numerous TV programs with varied opinions.

Unfortunately, it is my opinion that all of this contemporary strife, death and unhappiness to mankind in this area could have been completely avoided if only President Barack Obama had not exposed some of his selfish, personal and political characteristics when he announced he was withdrawing all of our military forces and sending them home at the end of December 2011. This he did, and it was quite obvious that it was a political ploy in order to enhance his chances for a successful reelection for 2012. When this occurred, it eradicated all possibilities of Iraq becoming the first democratic nation in the Middle East and along with it the establishment of a very strong effective military unit which would be able to furnish immediate aid to all American embassies when needed and it certainly was needed when Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and his three cohorts lost their lives in Libya.

It is my very strong personal opinion that one of the greatest mistakes that President Obama has ever made which completely changed the flavor of the nation's efforts in the Middle East was sending our troops home from Iraq at the end of 2011 after which all hell broke loose.

How sad, how very sad.

Quinton D. Thompson, Towson

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