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Iraq was lost by Obama [Letter]

As a 93-year-old retired educator who also had spent eight years as a U.S. Naval Officer on active duty (five during World War II in the Pacific and more than two aboard the USS Enterprise) and later was recalled for three more years during the Korean Conflict, I'd like to comment on Leon Panetta's views and who "really lost" Iraq.

In my opinion, it was none other than President Barack Obama who lost Iraq when he announced in 2011 that effective immediately he was withdrawing our military personnel and sending them home. It was quite obvious to me that it was a selfish, egotistical maneuver by Mr. Obama to please the folks back home in order to enhance his re-election chances in 2012.

The saddest part of all was the loss among our military service personnel whose all-out efforts were for naught. We must never forget the loving, honorable spirits of all of those poor forsaken souls.

No longer supported by the U.S., a weakened Iraq immediately became a battleground for strife among Shiites, Sunnis and other religious and ethnic sects as well as a target for infiltration by terrorist groups led by al-Qaida and undercover agents. What a catastrophe it has all become and how sad that Iraq never really had the opportunity to develop into the first democratic nation in the Arab Middle East.

Given this country's continuing involvement with radicals including the actions of the ISIS in the Middle East and numerous civil wars, I definitely believe that World War III could be a possibility in the near future.

Quinton D. Thompson, Towson

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