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BLITZER'S BLOG: Iraq aligns itself with America's foes
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
October 10th, 2011
01:43 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Iraq aligns itself with America's foes

By CNN's Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) – I was on the air 10 years ago when President George W. Bush launched the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. If someone would have said to me then that 100,000 U.S. troops would still be fighting there a decade later, I would have thought that person was crazy. Who could have imagined the war in Afghanistan would be America’s longest war - longer than World War II and the Civil War combined?

And remember: It’s by no means over. As of now, U.S. troops are supposed to remain in Afghanistan for at least another three years, until the end of 2014.

I was also on the air in March 2003 when Bush launched the war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. I never imagined that U.S. troops would remain there for eight years. Like so many reporters who covered the first Gulf War in 1991, I assumed the United States would go in with overwhelming force and get the job done quickly. Operation Desert Shield, the air and ground campaign to liberate Kuwait from Hussein’s forces, lasted six weeks.

U.S. troops are supposed to be out of Iraq by the end of this year although the Obama administration and the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki are negotiating a residual U.S. military presence of several thousand troops for years to come. Those negotiations continue.

At the time of Hussein’s downfall and the euphoria of what then looked like a quick victory, things looked good for the U.S. And if someone would have said to me then that the Iranian regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would emerge from all of this fighting in Iraq as a strategic winner in the region, I would have thought that person was crazy.

But look at what’s going on right now. The Iraqi government is aligning itself with Iran in trying to bolster the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Unlike several other Arab governments, al-Malaki’s Shiite-led government is not only defending al-Assad but actively joining forces with Ahmadinejad in trying to prop him up - even in the face of the brutal assault against peaceful Syrian protesters.

Is that why the United States went to war in Iraq - to see a Baghdad regime cozy up with Tehran against U.S. interests in the region?

The Bush and Obama administrations have now lost trillions of dollars and thousands of troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq. And even after all these years, the words “Mission Accomplished” seem as far away as ever.

RELATED: The woman who lambasted Iraq's prime minister

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Filed under: Iraq • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. Ad_emb

    Don't think only of your own country like doing the demostration of occupying Wall Street. All of people must appeal the evil of Government all about invision war of Iraq, to apologize to. In oerder to do it, you should make freedom of speech in progression little by little to build the true democracy. I will hope that you will know that it is important even being Government in your ways. And it is also importnant of making it funny for people to have a fun for it.My website, searching“midemosite” or "hecksite"

    April 25, 2012 at 4:11 am |
  2. Florencio Mendiola Jr.

    I had my personal suspicions for a very long time now that some day most of the countries in The Middle East would gang-up against the United States. Especially after many of the deadly and embarrassing incidents caused by some American soldiers that reflects very poorly against the United States. It will get worse before it get better. We should have left that part of the country alone. The Middle East for the most part are countries that are very complex when it comes to their beliefs, religion and way of life. The U.S. can not and should not try to change their ways of life because it will backfire. But I think it has already back-fired. Best we can do is leave that part of the world alone. If they want war, lets do what President Harry Truman did in the 1940s, drop some nuclear bombs and be done with it.

    March 13, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Kwame Arhin

      Florencio Mendiola Jr. Why do you want United States to drop nuclear bombs in the Middle East for what reason? Remember China, Russia, Pakistan, India, Britain, France, North Korea and (Israel ?) have nuclear weapons also.

      March 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
      • Florencio Mendiola Jr.

        I am not suggesting we nuke everyone. Merely saying that if any countries threatens the U.S. that we should use the most effective ways to to end the war. President Harry Truman had no problems dropping two Atomic Bombs in Japan. The war ended within a matter of weeks and not years. Yes, I know a lot of countries have nuclear weapon, but back then, many countries had nuclear weapons too. Some of the countries you mentioned are American Allies. Long term wars destroys the economy. Bringing wars to an end by nuclear weapons, to me is much better than thousands of disabled Americans due to long term wars. Hell man, if we are going to fight lets fight to win and bring the situation under control by the most effective manner. A long term war is more damaging then a short term war. Today's leaders are nothing like yesterday's leaders, the old leaders had a saying: "They say what they mean and do what they mean." Enough of war politics lets get it over and done. You have your opinion and I have mine. Right or wrong something got to give! enough with the war nonsense, lets the the job done!

        March 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
      • Kwame Arhin

        Florencio Mendiola Jr, when United States dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, no country had nuclear weapons. How do you want us to drop the bomb on a country that has not threaten us with nuclear weapons? We are not sure even if Iran is developing weapons for military use. We are made to belief Iran is developing capacity for civilian use; which every country has the right to do so. Even if Iran is found developing nuclear weapons for military use, I think it might need the United States and the international community to find a better of way of stopping her. I dont think dropping nuclear weapons on her would slove the problem. Can you imagaine the magnitude of human casualty that would result from this?

        March 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
      • Florencio Mendiola Jr.

        The Soviet Union had and have nuclear weapons and so did some others countries too. I spend 35 years in the military (Military Intelligence) I should know. This is what I am saying, if any country threatens the United States with "Possible War" we should use all our arsenal to defend ourselves nothing more or nothing less. I am no advocating war, I am advocating "Self-defense" there is a big difference. I have no problem with other countries having nuclear power but for what purpose? Catch my meaning?

        March 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
      • Kwame Arhin

        Yes Florencio Mendiola Jr, remember Iran has not threatened United States and beside the draculean sanctions on Iran is working. How do you want us to drop nuclear weapons on any Middle Eastern country for no empirical proof of any threat to United States. We invaded Iraq and razed the whole country beyond civilization, more than 100, 000 Iraq civilians killed, almost 5,000 American Soldiers killled and more than 40,000 American Soldiers wounded or maimed and trillions of American dollars wasted, thus bring our economy on its knees, for "false reason: WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. After this disastrous mistake, how do youeven think of dropping neclear weapon on another Middle Eastern country for unproven allegation?

        March 21, 2012 at 12:54 am |
      • Florencio Mendiola Jr.

        Lets set the record straight, I'm not suggesting we bomb anyone and I'm not saying that any particular country in the Middle East has in fact threatened the United States. I am simply saying that if any country does in fact shows any signs of active aggression of war toward the United States that would endanger our country and its people that we should defend ourselves with the most effective means available and that is nuclear weapons. I am a firm believer of the President Harry Truman Doctrine ( a particular principle.) In the event that it did happened as I mention herein in The United States would be justified in protecting itself from acts of war. Do you now understand my meaning?

        March 21, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
      • Kwame Arhin

        Florencio Mendiola Jr, I dont think United States should threaten or even attempt to nuke any country unless there are evidence of eminent nuclear attack, which would be justified as defensive measure. Either than that, nobody, even you should not dream of United States trying to nuke any country. How do we stop nuclear Proliferation if we turn to threaten nations around of the world with nuclear attacks?

        March 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
      • Kwame Arhin

        Florencio Mendiola Jr., Thanks for clarification. I am totally against any country using nuclear weapons against any country. I hate to see anyone or a country threatening any country with nuclear weapons. The devastating effects of nuclear weapons are unimaginable beyond human comprehension. I hope the world should be free of nuclear weapons.

        March 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
      • Kwame Arhin

        Florencio Mendiola Jr, Thanks for yuor clarification on this subject again. I hope we can work together to get rid of all the world nuclear weapons. I am hoping the world would one day be free of nuclear weapons.

        March 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
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