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by
Rick Moran

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August 16, 2014 - 1:38 pm

The Daily Signal asked several Iraq War vets their feelings about what’s going on in that country recently. Needless to say, most of them were not very happy with President Obama’s policies — past and present.

Chief Warrant Officer Amber Barno served two tours in Iraq:

I think Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq was completely botched. He left behind a weak government and an Iraqi military that was unable to defend itself. Obama’s decision to pull U.S. forces out of Iraq almost instantaneously with no sort of residual force to help them defend their own nation has consequences. There are real-world consequences to messing up the withdrawal as we’re now seeing with the [terrorist group] Islamic State, with their ability to have such significant advances into Iraq.

[...]

It is disappointing. Thousands of American soldiers who served in Iraq made life-altering sacrifices. Some came home with physical or invisible wounds that they still have to deal with. It’s disheartening, and now we’re having to deal with the consequences of an early, too soon, withdrawal. The withdrawal was not managed properly.

The president was more concerned with a rapid withdrawal than ensuring all we fought for in Iraq was preserved. To see that and almost a decade of work, lives, and sacrifices put into Iraq be swept away in a few months of ISIS coming in and grasping control, it is extremely frustrating to watch that.

Sergeant Dennis Joslyn served two tours:

When ISIS first rolled in, the United States should have taken action, and it would have ended the uprising. Now, thanks to Washington’s inability to act, that time has passed. Airstrikes can aid, drops are too little too late.

I am not advocating redeploying American soldiers. I think this is a problem that should be handled by the Arab League as we have no [Status of Forces Agreement] with Iraq at this time. It is my belief that had the president ordered these air missions sooner, none of this would have happened.

Sergeant Ryan served one tour in the army and 3 as a civilian:

I think we left too early and for political reasons. I support the airstrikes. I don’t want to go back, but if the [Islamic State] isn’t eliminated, they’ll eventually come to the U.S.

ISIS is a real threat. I put most of the blame on the Iraqi government and its corruption and tribally/ethnically/religiously fractured society for the current mess. But blame doesn’t get anything done. ISIS has the money, manpower and resources to attack the U.S. and are making their intentions known.

If we don’t handle it now, I think we’ll regret it later. Leaving a stabilization force like we did in Germany, Japan and Korea would have helped, but the withdrawal was politically motivated and political decisions in wartime don’t always work out so well.

You’ve probably read reactions of other Iraq War veterans who are remarkably uniform in their criticism of the president and belief that only a comprehensive policy will stabilize the situation.

Some, like Special Operations Master Sergeant Jason Beardsley, express frustration with the administration for a preventable situation:

It’s frustrating to watch because we had the mechanisms in place to prevent that. And, of course, the withdrawal just allowed for that [power] vacuum to overwhelm those mechanisms. This is a tough thing to watch, and it is frustrating for service members to process that. We’ve spent multiple deployments facing some of the same threats on the ground, and now we see those threats strategically expanding because we just left the area.

While a a majority of civilians — and, admittedly, many soldiers who served in Iraq — believe the effort we made was in vain, there are many like the veterans above who disagree and want to see the US make a bigger effort to retrieve the situation.

For their sake, and all those who served, let’s hope we do.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.
Top Rated Comments   
Obama said he was going to "end the war in Iraq." Hillary, too, during her Presidential campaign.

Memo to the Dems: you don't "end" a war, you either win it or lose it. There is no in-between.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama put vulgar election year politics over policy in Iraq. All the sacrifices in American lives
And resources took a back seat so the man could gain some extra votes for his reelection.
It's more than vulgar or callous. It's criminal.
Hundreds of lives needlessly lost. There must be consequences.
Obama must be held accountable. I'm not sure how. After all, he's got all those
Lawyers and willing media propagandists. But he must pay. Somehow.
Someway. Otherwise there is no such thing as justice and
When Criminal Arrogance goes unpunished life loses a little more goodness.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (4)
All Comments   (4)
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The democrats have a long history of treachery against our country and our allies, beginning in Vietnam, then in Iran where they facilitated the overthrow of the pro-western Shah, up to this day in Iraq. If you tune out the rhetoric and look at the results the Democratic party has fought AGAINST America, democracy. and order in the world and have effectively promoted communism and now Islamism, over an uninterrupted span of forty years.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Democrats I talk to are loving this utter disaster, and pinning the tail on the elephant.

It's Bush's fault, they sing gleefully in chorus. Evil Bush lies, with national, regional and ultimately global consequences now marvelously (for Democrats) magnified.

They'll be milking Bush bashing for the rest of the century.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama said he was going to "end the war in Iraq." Hillary, too, during her Presidential campaign.

Memo to the Dems: you don't "end" a war, you either win it or lose it. There is no in-between.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama put vulgar election year politics over policy in Iraq. All the sacrifices in American lives
And resources took a back seat so the man could gain some extra votes for his reelection.
It's more than vulgar or callous. It's criminal.
Hundreds of lives needlessly lost. There must be consequences.
Obama must be held accountable. I'm not sure how. After all, he's got all those
Lawyers and willing media propagandists. But he must pay. Somehow.
Someway. Otherwise there is no such thing as justice and
When Criminal Arrogance goes unpunished life loses a little more goodness.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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