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  1. #1
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    US ends combat operations in Iraq

    The last brigade of US combat has been withdrawn from Iraq, bringing combat operation to an end in a war that has lasted more than seven years and claimed the lives of more than 4,000 US troops.

    The brigade left the country in the early hours of Thursday morning, two weeks before an August 31 deadline for the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom pledged by Barack Obama on taking office.

    Over the course the week soldiers from the 4th Stryker brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, have driven hundreds of vehicles from Camp Victory near Baghdad airport to Camp Virginia in Kuwait.

    Their withdrawal brings to an end a controversial and bloody operation that began with the American "shock and awe" bombing campaign of Baghdad in March 2003, and saw the US military endure some of the heaviest fighting it had seen for a generation.

    Captain Christopher Ophardt, a spokesman for the 4th Stryker Brigade of the 2nd
    Infantry Division, said the last of the unit's vehicles will cross the border into Kuwait early on Thursday.

    Iraqi concerns
    Most of the brigade's 4,000 soldiers have been driving out of Iraq in their armoured Vehicles, with a few hundred members staying behind to finish administrative and logistical duties. They will be flying out of Baghdad later on Thursday.

    About 50,000 US troops will remain in the country in an advisory capacity, helping to train Iraqi forces in a new mission codenamed Operation New Dawn, which will run until the end of 2011.

    Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reporting from Baghdad said many Iraqis are concerned that Iraqi security forces are still lacking in terms of training and equipment, and particularly in intelligence gathering.

    "Years of sanctions have made the population politically-savvy and many Iraqis are questioning the timing of the draw down five months after national elections ended in a political vacuum," our correspondent said.

    "Many were worried about the possible increase in sectarian violence and the ability of Iraqi security forces to take the lead in the absence of US troops, and don't think this is a good time to be left alone without US military backing."

    Campaign promise
    Obama had made ending the Iraq war a central policy of his presidential campaign, and after taking office he immediately announced plans to bring combat troops home by the end of August this year.

    He inherited around 144,000 troops in Iraq, 30,000 fewer than the peak levels of 2007, when the Bush administration ordered a so-called surge in an effort to improve Iraq's atrocious security situation.



    After becoming president, Obama immediately set about transferring responsibility for security from the US military to Iraqi forces, gradually pulling US troops out of the country.

    Generals approved the final tranche of the draw down in May this year, despite a rise in violence following inconclusive parliamentary elections in March.

    The war, which began when a US-led coalition invaded Iraq in 2003 and overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein, has proven costly to America both in terms of dollars and human life. Operation Iraqi Freedom has cost more than $900 billion and seen 4,415 US troops die.

    That figure has been dwarfed by the number of Iraqi civilians killed, estimated at more than 100,000, according to the Iraq Body Count website.

    At the height of the violence in 2006, Iraq was brought to the brink of all-out civil war between the Sunni and Shia communities, with bombings and sectarian murders becoming a deadly part of day-to-day life many parts of the country.
    In 2007, President Bush ordered a controversial surge of more than 30,000 combat troops in an effort to improve the situation.

    That, combined with improved cooperation with the Iraq's Sunni population, led to a substantial improvement in security that allowed US troops to begin transferring responsibility to Iraqi forces.

    'Too Early'
    While the end of combat operations will be welcomed by many ordinary Iraqis, US troops leave behind a country with a far from certain future.

    Iraq has had no government for the past five months following the elections, and the security situation remains volatile, with a sharp spike in civilian deaths in July underlining the fragility of the situation.



    Concerns have been raised that the US is pulling out of the country too soon, most notably by Lt Gen Babaker Zebari, Iraq's most-senior army officer, who warned last week that his forces would not be ready to take control of security until 2020.

    Zebari predicted that "problems will start after 2011", referring to the Obama administration's deadline for the full withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

    In a graphic illustration of his point, a blast this weekat an army recruitment centre in Baghdad left at least 60 people dead and more than 100 wounded, in one of the worst attacks to hit Iraq for months.

    The Obama administration has defended its plans to withdraw from Iraq, insisting that it is satisfied with progress in the country, despite recent setbacks.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/mi...840122963.html
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  2. #2
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    Concerns have been raised that the US is pulling out of the country too soon, most notably by Lt Gen Babaker Zebari, Iraq's most-senior army officer, who warned last week that his forces would not be ready to take control of security until 2020.
    2020? Generals have the same message no matter the nation. Need more troops and more money to pay for them. These statements are simply made to cover their incompetence. If the already unacceptable security situation in Iraq gets worse, the general can say "I told you so". History indicates he or his successors will, in 2020, say "We will not be ready to take control of security until 2030".

    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    Iraq has had no government for the past five months following the elections, and the security situation remains volatile, with a sharp spike in civilian deaths in July underlining the fragility of the situation.
    Five months and the elected officials have yet to establish a government! As long as these assholes continue to feather their own nests and fail to reach a consensus addressing the issues related to integrating the Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions it matters not what the military does. Elections in 2005 and 2009 and they still have no government!

    Screw the lot. Colin Powell's warning to Bush prior to the invasion of Iraq should have been heeded.

    'You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people,' he told the president. 'You will own all their hopes, aspirations, and problems. You'll own it all.'

  3. #3
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    and this is the beginning of a Saigon fall,

    I hope it will be advertised on US news media as much as the invasion campaign,

    Chomsky has a very nice discourse on US war crimes and how this invasion is not unique, it happened before and it will happen again.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    Operation Iraqi Freedom has cost more than $900 billion and seen 4,415 US troops die.
    Money and lives well spent in liberating Iraq.

    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    Iraqi civilians killed, estimated at more than 100,000,
    Can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and at least it was friendly fire that most likely killed them, much better than unfriendly fire.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    Operation Iraqi Freedom has cost more than $900 billion and seen 4,415 US troops die.
    Money and lives well spent in liberating Iraq.
    they should have asked AQ to kill those 4,000 troops, they would have done a much better job for 1/1000 of the cost

  6. #6
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    ^ How very commie of you.
    A pity AJ didn't break down who killed the civilians. How many folks did a suicide bomber kill as they lined up to become police recruits last week? Weren't some politicians killed today? The muslim sects will start fighting again, and the US troops left in admin will have to sit and watch, kind of like French and German troops do naturally.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    more than $900 billion
    Money and lives well spent in liberating Iraq.
    How much of that went straight to Americans in power, and their friends.

  8. #8
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    Mission accomplished, Saddam is no longer selling oil for Euros instead of Dollars.

    My cynicism presents me with an interesting moral problem; my pension is denominated in dollars, and if they collapsed (as they surely would if they lost their special status) I would be poor. So while I cynically believe this was the cause for the War and that I indirectly have benefited from it, does this also mean I should support what we did?

  9. #9
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^You think too much, Bob. Cash your pension check, and go get a beer. You earned it. Enjoy it. You can't change the world - as a former cop, you should know that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Gorgon View Post
    The muslim sects will start fighting again,.
    Yes. In fighting is a bit crap but happens. I think the Iraqis in charge of the main 2 factions are called Lee and Grant.
    I predict a long and bloody war that will see many civilians killed and, in time, a president who invades other countries on some lie or another.
    Be happy dudes. It's a lot more fun than crying.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    and this is the beginning of a Saigon fall,

    I hope it will be advertised on US news media as much as the invasion campaign,

    Chomsky has a very nice discourse on US war crimes and how this invasion is not unique, it happened before and it will happen again.
    Less you forget Butters, those handful of huge military reservations {in Iraq} will remain permanent. Still an occupation. So much much for your fall....

  12. #12
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    Anyway, they can't pull out yet, they still haven't found those weapons of mass destruction.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Anyway, they can't pull out yet, they still haven't found those weapons of mass destruction.
    Short memories. Misdirection. Distractions.

  14. #14
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    Isnt it strange how Haliburton who were the biggest contributors to the Bush election campaign just happened to win the biggest contracts for ''rebuilding Iraq''

  15. #15
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    I enjoyed the continued broadcast of the guy leaning out of the armored vehicle yelling "We won, I'm going home." Personally, we didn't win squat!!! I don't believe the Iraqis will ever be able to decently defend their country and the suicide bombings will increase and get worse in the future. Yes, this is just like a Vietnam scenario....okay, time for you to take over and be overrun!!!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Gorgon
    A pity AJ didn't break down who killed the civilians.
    I suppose you don't take into consideration the ones who will die a slow painful death from cancer, caused by the huge amount of depleted uranium used in the weapons.

  17. #17
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    ^A few broken eggs and all that, it's only to be expected, once they find those weapons of mass destruction it will all be nice and sweetness in Iraq I'm sure.

  18. #18
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    Well, apart from the suicide bombings, stonings to death and other fun stuff they like to do, American and British taxpayers money well spent I reckon, plus it gave the boys a chance to go out and kill the natives so to speak.

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    They will need the goys in Afghanistan

  20. #20
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    Time to watch Iran then !

  21. #21
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    How many years did Russia spend in Afghanistan? The yanks don't stand a chance, they will just be boxing up more dead heroes to fly back home.

  22. #22
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    the nasty Russians couldn't win, but again they are commies so being effective is not part of their MO

  23. #23
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    ^Yeah but they were willing to use gas and shite on the evil Afghans and still lost, as will america lose.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    The last brigade of US combat has been withdrawn from Iraq, bringing combat operation to an end in a war that has lasted more than seven years and claimed the lives of more than 4,000 US troops.
    Mission Accomplished!

  25. #25
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    ^What mission was that boonmee? The mission to create 4,000 odd american heroes? The mission to find wmd's? The mission to kill 100,000 civilians?

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