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NEWS
January 9, 2012
Letter writer Paul R. Schlitz Jr. can't seem to grasp the fact that an acknowledgment of Iraq's potential to harbor weapons of mass destruction doesn't necessarily indicate current agreement with the decision to invade, nor does it require someone to justify the invasion ("Explain again why we invaded Iraq?" Jan. 4). It's simply an acknowledgment of the situation. We do not invade every country that has the potential to produce WMD. I would also point out that failure to acknowledge threats is no less dangerous than inflating threats.
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NEWS
By Frederic Hill and Sam Gardiner | September 18, 2014
Geopolitical analysts are especially fond of quoting Edmund Burke and George Santayana on the folly of ignoring the lessons of history and the dangers of repeating the original decisions. But what's even more imprudent, and potentially fatal, is to learn the wrong lessons from history — and by avoiding the previous mistakes, plow ahead without understanding the causes of their failure. President Barack Obama is now in danger of steering a perilous course in confronting the threat of Islamic State in the Middle East (also known as ISIS or ISIL)
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NEWS
December 28, 2011
In reference to The Sun's editorial regarding the removal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq ("Home for Christmas," Dec. 25) and speaking as a veteran of five years in WWII and later recalled for three more in Korea, I am in complete disagreement with President Barack Obama's political greedy, unwise and short-sighted decision in withdrawing our troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 regardless of how they got there. Instead, I strongly believe that the U.S. should have maintained a strong standing military force in Iraq just as we did and still do in Japan, Germany and South Korea to assure that democracy remains in operation for the whole world to behold.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | September 14, 2014
If. Two letters long, it is arguably the most fruitless word in the English language, an evocation of paths not taken, possibilities foreclosed, regrets stacked high -- and it lies like a pall of smoke over President Obama's Wednesday-night announcement that this country is returning to war, albeit with air strikes only, in a place we just left behind in 2011 after spending almost nine years, over a trillion dollars and 4,425 lives. If. As in, if President Bush had concentrated on toppling the Taliban in Afghanistan, which harbored the authors of the terrorist strike we suffered 13 years ago last week, if he had not rushed to judgment, convincing himself Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was behind the attack, if his administration had not used suspect intelligence to claim Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, if we had not bought into the fantasy that we could impose a Jeffersonian democracy on another nation and have them thank us for it, if we had not destabilized the region, if we had never kicked this hornet's nest, would we now find ourselves obliged to confront the criminal gang that calls itself the Islamic State?
NEWS
June 21, 2014
The situation in Iraq is most analogous to that of Yugoslavia. Both countries were cobbled out of fallen empires after World War I, Iraq from the Ottoman Empire and Yugoslavia from the Austria-Hungarian Empire. Long standing ethnic, cultural and religious hatreds were ignored in creating these countries. Both countries were relatively stable for decades because of a strongman dictator - Marshal Josip Broz Tito in the case of Yugoslavia and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Both countries lapsed into chaos once those leaders were no longer in power.
NEWS
January 4, 2012
After two letters in attempt to justify himself and the invasion of Iraq ("Iraq's chemical weapons stocks were well documented," Dec. 28, and "Did Saddam have WMDs before the U.S. invasion in 2003?" Jan. 2) I still can't figure out what Michael DeCicco is trying to say in regard to the astonishingly stupid decision to go to invade Iraq in 2003. Clearly American citizens were in no danger from Saddam's stockpiles of chemical weapons even if they had ever been found or used on U.S. soldiers (which they weren't)
NEWS
December 28, 2010
The Sun's most interesting editorial, "Fresh start in Iraq" (Dec. 27), stated, "It's vital that [Prime Minister Nouri] al-Maliki make good on his promise to lead a truly representative government that offers the hope of a better life for all its citizens. " But in my opinion, the U.S. is instead planning to remove that hope by withdrawing our troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. Look how long it took for our original 13 colonies to become a unified democratic country — not until after battles with other countries including England, Spain, France and Mexico and eventually leading to our Civil War. Also in order to protect our interests and advances following some of our past major wars, we still have standing armies in Japan, Germany and South Korea to assure the safety operation of their democratic governments and to prevent invasion by their aggressive neighbors.
NEWS
April 8, 2013
In response to Quinton D. Thompson's letter ("Obama's decision to leave Iraq led to catastrophe," April 5), I must remind your readers that the underlying catastrophe was perpetrated by then-President George W. Bush's illegal attack on Iraq. President Bush led this attack on the false pretenses that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction that posed an imminent threat to our nation. It was Mr. Bush's irresponsible decision to take this action that led to thousands of U.S. soldiers dead or wounded (not to mention the innumerable Iraqi civilian casualties)
NEWS
June 20, 2014
Your editorial on the situation in Iraq left many hard questions unanswered ( "Hard choices in Iraq," June 16). Here is a suggestion: I was once a volunteer fireman who fought forest fires. After each fire was extinguished we were told that new growth would sprout because the old trees, brush and leaves had been removed from the landscape. The clearing would give way to a fresh stand of trees. If the free world were pragmatic "forest rangers" and let the Mideast conflagration burn itself out, personal independence would increase because of the new environment.
NEWS
By John A. McCary | March 18, 2010
T he Lesson Holds: What Tribal Engagement in Iraq Can Teach Us about Winning Allies in Afghanistan The Iraqi parliamentary elections last week highlight one very important lesson about tribal engagement in counterinsurgencies: It works. Voter turnout in Sunni tribal provinces such as Anbar and Diyala - formerly hotbeds of the insurgency - topped out at 70 percent. Among the long list of newly formed political parties vying for seats in parliament, more than a few boasted openly tribal affiliations.
NEWS
By Zainab Chaudry | September 11, 2014
Last night, in a televised address to the nation, President Barack Obama outlined his administration's strategy for battling the terrorist group ISIS. While I support and even welcome part of his remarks - such as his firm distancing of ISIS from the true tenets of Islam, his admission that the majority of ISIS' victims have been other Muslims and his commitment of U.S. support for Syrian rebels fighting Bashar Assad's regime - there are some issues that cause concern. We must acknowledge that ISIS is born partly as a result of extensive destabilization in the region caused by America's and Britain's 2003 invasion of Iraq in search of non-existent weapons of mass destruction.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | August 24, 2014
As people of different faiths gathered Sunday at the Baltimore Basilica for a prayer service for peace in Iraq, Archbishop William E. Lori implored the crowd to keep praying after news of the crisis no longer dominates headlines. "This suffering has deep, deep roots, and it will require our faithful attention for a long time to come," the Baltimore archbishop said during the one-hour ecumenical and interreligious service that included religious leaders from Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths.
NEWS
By William E. Lori | August 17, 2014
Sectarian violence in Iraq has worsened dramatically in recent days, especially for Christians in the war-torn nation, prompting Pope Francis to appoint an envoy to meet with religious and government leaders in Iraq as well as with those Christians who have been forced from their homes in fear. "The news reports coming from Iraq leave us in dismay and disbelief: thousands of people, including many Christians, driven from their homes in brutal manner; children dying of thirst and hunger in their flight; women taken and carried off; violence of every kind; destruction of historical, cultural and religious patrimonies," the pope said.
NEWS
August 15, 2014
As I watch reports of the disintegration of Iraq into utter chaos ( "Turning point in Iraq," Aug. 8), I can't help but think of the tragic misuse of our troops who gave so much for absolutely nothing, and I pray that we will never again entrust the White House to another incompetent mediocrity like George W. Bush. Marc Raim, Baltimore - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
August 15, 2014
I am not a supporter of President Obama, but I must applaud his support of the Kurds with supplies of humanitarian and military aid. This needs to be done for many reasons to show Russia and others that we are not a "paper tiger. " F. Cordell, Lutherville - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
August 14, 2014
I read with tears in my eyes and an aching heart that President Barack Obama has ordered airstrikes against ISIS militants in Iraq while vowing that no American combat troops will be sent back to the region and that he will not allow the U.S. to be dragged into another war there ( "U.S. strikes have slowed, not weakened Iraq militants: Pentagon," Aug. 11). It was quite obviously a political ploy when President Obama sent our military forces home from Iraq at the end of 2011 and that his real purpose was to enhance his chances for re-election in 2012.
NEWS
June 20, 2014
There are certainly hard choices in Iraq ( "Hard choices in Iraq," June 16). Although you didn't mention it, the lack of foresight by the George W. Bush administration to have an "exit" strategy in this war is the main cause. President Barack Obama didn't help by not demanding a Status of Forces Agreement. The big issue now is that Mr. Obama spends more time playing golf and fundraising than tending to his duties, but I am sure Valerie Jarrett is on top of this. Lyle Rescott, Marriottsville - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | August 11, 2014
In the summer of 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama was asked if he was worried that his proposed withdrawal from Iraq would result in ethnic cleansing or even genocide. He scoffed at the premise. "By that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now -- where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife -- which we haven't done," he told the Associated Press. "We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven't done.
NEWS
August 11, 2014
Just when it seemed the situation in Iraq couldn't get any worse, the government moved a step closer to collapsing into chaos on Sunday when its president, Fuad Masum, formally nominated a candidate to replace the country's authoritarian prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, in an effort to break the political paralysis gripping the country since parliamentary elections in April. From there, things went straight downhill. President Masum named Haider Abadi, a member of Mr. Maliki's own Shiite Islamist Dawa Party, as the next prime minister, urging him to forge a broad coalition government to unify the country against Sunni extremists who have taken over large swaths of Iraq in recent weeks and are threatening to march on the capital.
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