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BLITZER'S BLOG: Why I’m worried about Iraq
December 12th, 2011
03:41 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Why I’m worried about Iraq

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

(CNN) - On Monday at the White House, President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki were upbeat in discussing the future of Iraq. I hope they are right, but like so many U.S. officials and outside experts in Washington and the region, I am deeply worried about the direction of that embattled country.

Item: The Iraqi government rejected U.S. requests to leave even a modest number of U.S. troops on the ground. That’s because Iran’s allies in the Iraqi government would have none of that.

Item: The Iraqi government - almost alone in the Arab League - continues to reject Arab League efforts to sanction the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Again, that’s because Iran supports the Damascus regime and has a lot of influence in Baghdad as well.

Item: If the U.S. military hands over to Iraq the last terrorist detainee it’s holding, there’s a good chance that he will be set free and allowed to go to Iran. The Lebanese terrorist, Ali Musa Daqduq, is affiliated with Hezbollah and murdered five American troops in Iraq in 2007.

It’s all pretty depressing given the enormous blood and treasure the U.S. invested in liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s regime.

I was in Kuwait on the eve of the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. At the time, I assumed the military campaign would be swift and decisive - just like the first Gulf War in 1991, which I also covered. That 1991 air and ground war lasted about six weeks.

If someone would have said to me in 2003 that U.S. troops would only be leaving Iraq by the end of 2011, I would have thought them crazy.

Obama had opposed the war as an Illinois legislator. At one point, he called it a “dumb war.” He refused to say today that he still believed it was a dumb war. Instead, he expressed confidence that things were moving in the right direction now. I hope he’s right, but I have my doubts.

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RELATED STORY: Obama says U.S. goal is successful Iraq

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Iraq • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. mike

    It's time to Kick the chair out from under them...

    December 12, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  2. Chris

    We won't be gone long before we will be right back again. Don't worry this thing has many sequels yet to play out.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  3. Logic

    Hmmm, what nation can we police next?

    December 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  4. ivan

    This could sound a little foolish maybe but I think that the US could have used good intellenge and a couple of very strong bombs to finish with the talibans and Hussein and spare the lives of all those american soldiers. However there are always people that profit from war and these are the real enemies.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  5. Mark

    If the US had put the Iraqi's to work after the invasion a lot of this may have been avoided, but instead they brought in American and other foreign contractors to do the work.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
  6. SwilliamP

    It is almost impossible to look in the face of someone who has served, and/or been wounded, and answer the question, "Was it all worth it?" These men and women are all heroes. But their sacrifice was wasted. President Bush can be forgiven under the clause of Forgive them Father for (he) knows not what (he does). Chaney? He knew this was a sham and would only be destruction for all sides. I was going to say "Waterboard him". But no. God help him. He has inventoried some harsh judgment upon himself...

    December 12, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  7. Sudhir Kumar

    When are we sending Bush, his family and Cheney and his family to replace our troops.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  8. cck99352

    We need to get out of there NOW. We should have gotten out years (and trillions of dollars) ago. If they turn their country into a wasteland – well, it is their right and their mistake. Let them live with whatever mess they make of things. We have wasted enough resources (and especially young American lives) on that country. Besides, politically, Iran and Iraq will be joined soon enough (and keeping troops there to prevent that association is folly).

    December 12, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  9. Ernest

    Item: bush got the US into this war trying to find non-existant WMD....

    Item: The neocons have always wanted to invade Iraq

    Item: Iraq has been a puppet to the US and was pushed into the war with Iran why...? because Iran refused to be a puppet and got rid of the US puppet the Shah...

    Item: If the Blood and Treasure of the US is wasted it is because bush (whom you seemed to admire) got the US into not a war of choice but an unnecessary war a war that should have never happened...

    Item: Blitzer is the reason CNN is in 3rd place and will remain in 3rd place....

    December 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  10. Susan from Birmingham, Al.

    Iraq will be in a civil war with Iran in a few years, just like they have been doing for thousands of years, nothing will change. Its so sad, but we are leaving too soon..this just smells like political points to me. Hate to see this waste.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  11. glen

    god bless our troops & all those who suffered during the war , including the iraqi people.
    as soon as we leave you can rest assure israel will be well on it's way to a pre-emptive strike
    against iran. things are really heating up in the middle east and maybe there is a bigger
    war on the horizon. if these events aren't ushering in the end times then what will ?

    December 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  12. NoTags

    Invading Iraq was the biggest mistake this Country ever made except for Vietnam.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  13. j mann

    Bush's blunder was monumental, the kind of thing only an idiot of his caliber could pull off. Lying about WMD's to settle and old family grudge. The world suffers mightily because of his presidency in countless ways and will continue to for years to come.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  14. Lejaune

    It's too late. We created the peace between Iran and Iraq so the two countries became Shiite brothers again. Iraq is now a sovereign country and they want us out, and the best we can do is to get out. Ayatollah should give Bush a Persian Peace Prize.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  15. Mark Wells

    I agree with most people who say who cares. I support our troops and I'm proud of them. However, we had no business being there, it WAS a dumb war.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  16. Lexi

    We've wasted way too many resources in that cesspool, both cash and most importantly, precious troops.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  17. wonderwall

    I say we overthrow the Iraqi government again and setup AMERICA TWO. SUVs for everybody!

    December 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  18. reason

    Oil and Israel. These are the only two things that concern the US when it comes to Iran.

    Iran is not a direct threat to the US. If we refuse to commit military force to an attack on Israel, then Iran is no threat at all.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  19. BigdaddyUSA

    Well if anyone believes the terrorist activities will stop when we leave, you are wrong. Arabs in Iraq are not smart enough to defend their pile of dirt they call a country. They will be begging us to go back within a year.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  20. a disgrace

    i am worried about a leaderless and failing america..

    December 12, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  21. John Geheran

    Becoming a truly democratic state is a long and messy journey. Despite our inability to deal with the Muslim mindset, we gave it our best shot. It is time for the US to move on and hope that when Iraq matures, our contributions will be acknowledged.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  22. kebcarerra

    Reading that is so depressing, It's like we shouldn't have occupied Iraq in the first place.

    December 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  23. Kevin

    Wolf is forgetting that Iran and Iraq used to be bitter enemies before we invaded. Now, apparently, they are good friends of Iran. I wonder why anyone would think that continuing the occupation would lessen Iran's influence when 8 years of it seemed to do the exact opposite.

    We need to withdraw from the Middle East immediately. If we had left after killing Bin Laden, we could have done so with our heads held high. We completed our supposed objective. If our goal, however, is to build Afghanistan into a modern country that shares Western values, we are going to leave in disgrace. Probably because we will be bankrupt.

    Many people think that Muslims are, by nature, violent. This is not true for them anymore than it is for us. Tell me, do you think that Muslims don't worry about their children when they go outside at night? Do you think they don't enjoy spending time with their family and playing games together? Do you think they cry and feel sadness when a member of their family dies? This isn't a war between America and Islam. The war is waged between our radicals and their radicals. The vast majority of us are just collateral damage. It's time to ask ourselves if we really want to continue funding a war that is only in the interests of a few.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  24. jdoe

    Not to worry. Vietnam was transitioned the same way too.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  25. harvey n

    I agree with the Iraqis who want the US out. It was foolish to go in, foolish to waste all those lives and money and foolish to think we could ultimately make them like us and agree with US policy makers.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  26. Matt

    Wolf: You are reporter. Let me explain you what is tha. You capture information and present it. For many years, it is obvous for me and many of us than your line qustions are always focusing in few areas. Let me give you an example, do you rember what was first question you asked from President Obama? Let me remind you, you aksed about his support for Israel? Is that only important for you? Do not you think so you should have asked question abour US economy and us related issues. This is NOT first time you and some of CNN directing discussion in cetain areas.

    Iraq is Arabic country with very different culture than US. You can spent Billion dollars, but you can NOT change their DNA and what they want to believe or to do. Iraq and Iran has 4000 years of history, do you want to chnge that realation in matter of few years of occupation?

    I suggest you worry about US economy and your republican blockage of House & senate.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  27. Cindy

    Of course we should be worried. But this was predicted the very day we marched into Iraq. When we killed off Iran's natural enemy (Saddam Hussain) it left Iran to multiply like the rabbit iinvasion in the midwest during the 20's. You never kill your enemys enemy. Now there is no one to stop them short of nuclear war. This is what we get for electing Presidents that know nothing about history.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  28. bill

    blitzer, i mean wolff – at this stage the alternative is for us to declare an occupation, as we can't say we'll leave when we are good and ready. besides, your conerns aside, the american people have had it. we have made all the blood scrafice and loss to our treasury and no more time left to fiddle with hurt feelings.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  29. Tareq

    Will W ever be held accountable for the lies that led to that war! Saddam was executed for the atrocities he committed against his own people! Justice should run both ways!!!

    December 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  30. G

    That's excellent news, Blitzer. That means Iraq is not under Israeli and US hegemony. Hopefully, Iran will have more influence on Iraq, or better yet, let Iraq become a sovereign state.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  31. Maggy

    Gee, what will Hilton do with that huge hotel they are opening in 2013? We have tons of contractors in Iraq, and they are toting. Fear scared the public into letting Bush send us into Iraq.

    Let's not even go there. The Middle East is the Middle East. They will always fight. Why the heck should we loose more soldiers for their lost cause? Get out of the Middle East and stay out. We have enough problems here. Thank you, George Bush!

    December 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  32. Usher73

    I just hope we stay out when Iraq falls apart.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  33. Rob

    Iraq my country US just wants what is best for you. Believe it or not but we do. I hope you find what that is.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  34. Wastrel

    What did we get out of this? Why are we trying to be friends with people who have sworn enmity to us? We could have taken trillions of dollars of oil - that's why you fight a war, to loot the country and enslave the people. "Bringing democracy" to a tribal people mired in a centuries-old culture with a backward religion was nonsense from the start. And they clearly had nothing to do with 9/11 and had no WMDs. President Bush deserves the blame for starting this and failing to carry it through in a way that benefits the US.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  35. Avi Shlomo

    Take it from a fellow Jew who is not Zionist: you are worried because you The AIPAC man at CNN. Get over Iraq. Have not they suffered enough?

    December 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  36. jon

    It's very obvious what will happen when we leave. There will be civil war between the Sunni and the Shia muslims just like there was when Sadam took power. Only rule by iron fist can prevent the old rivalry from returning. Iran backs the Shia and that will mean all that we fought and died for will be for nothing

    December 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  37. riverrat

    This is why we need Ron Paul.....we would have never gotton into this mess to begin with......

    but then you have all the right wing war mongers ....."there goes uncle ron.....babbling about the unsustainability of multiple wars......"

    December 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  38. FoxiWolf

    Mr. Blitzer: i do share your worries regarding Iraq. Your article was great and to the point. Once our troops pull out, Iran will have so much influence that i am afraid it will make everything very complicated.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  39. partysstink

    This war was a mess from the start.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  40. partysstink

    There was no way to get out of this war that didnt let iran get in the mix.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  41. Liza

    So sad. What a waste. Just think of all the men and women soon coming home with PTSD and other mental disorders.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  42. Danny

    Wolf, I understand your concerns, but what are we going to do? Make Iraq a US overseas territory or something? We've violated their sovereignty enough. It's time to go and let them figure it out.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  43. AntiFringe

    When you send in troops your committed forever. It doesn't matter if you withdraw in 10 months, 10 years or 20 years. Someone with power will always see you as an occupier, and wait for the right time. Iraq is a waste of money and will implode when we leave.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  44. cklutch

    He's not worried for Iraq you moron, he's worried what it can turn into being an ally to Iran and opposing sanctions on Syria.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  45. Alex

    what did all you gung-ho idiots think would happen when we invaded Iraq? This was a terrible idea from the beginning, more of a vendetta than anything else, and shame on all of you who ever considered it a worthwhile endeavor.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  46. Lena

    Just wait until they threaten the BP and Shell, et al. operations; then we'll be back in a flash.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  47. JoJo in Boston

    I think the most sensible policy is to apply Just War Criteria to these wars, which is basically an extrapolation of the fundamental principle that you don't take even a single human life unless it is a last resort necessity. Just War theory is imperfect, but it's the best guide to weighing the morality of warfare that humankind and Christian/Jewish scholars have devised over the centuries. Most American Christian and Jewish hierarchies, and also the Vatican said from the beginning that starting a war in Iraq did not meet Just War Criteria. Ron Paul said "it didn't come close". That's my opinion.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  48. peibossman

    it's scary how many lives were lost because of this useless war...

    December 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  49. PaulBel

    I totally agree with the statement "it was a dumb war" in so far as we should have never been involved. I applauded Pres. Bush (senior) for kicking them out of Kuwait, and for stopping when he did. We can rehash the WMD lies as much as we want, but almost everyone was at fault (Bush Jr., Congress, the military, the State Dept.) for either pushing a bogus agenda, or swallowing it without much of a question.

    Even worse, as so plainly demonstrated by the length of the war, there was no consideration for an exit strategy, much less what were we going to do after we "won" the war and had to administer a country that didn't particularly want us there in the first place. Unlike so many other "Arab spring" countries where change came from within, trying to force democracy and a new government from the outside rarely works. If its not earned from within, it won't be cherished and guarded.
    Please note: Nothing I say here should ever be construed as being critical of the men and woman who have served and are serving overseas in Iraq and other locations. They should all be accorded the honor and respect that they have won through their sacrifices and efforts. It is with the leadership that sent them there that should bear the brunt of any criticism.

    We have heard time and again of the corruption, the incompentence and the basic inability of the current Iraqi government to create a true democracy, and to safeguard its own boarders and people. Its sad to say, especially in light of the efforts and hard work of our uniformed services, that this country will probably fall into anarchy with a year after our departure. And that anarchy will give rise to opportunism from neighboring countries (Iran) as well as creating an opening for various jihadist groups to occupy and enslave parts of the country.
    Hopefully (although I doubt it) we have learned finally that we cannot be the world police, and that if change is to come, it must come from within a country, not forced from without.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  50. wayne

    Wolf, I really respect you and your opinions, but when you only mention the "blood and treasure" that it cost America, and fail to mention the Iraqi casualties, I am saddened. 4000+ dead Americans is one thing. Over 100,000 +/- (depending on which report you read) dead Iraqi's is a whole other story. I'm an American, and this war was disgraceful. When we talk about it- every time we talk about it or write about it, we need to discuss the whole cost. America is not the only victim here.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  51. William ONeill

    The Iraq/Iran have sign over ten pacts for sercurtiy/economic support between them and will each other into a Shiities regional powerbase against Sunnis nation in the area and therefore do not need US support anymore.We should kiss our over two to four TRILLION Dollars deficit Bush2 spend in this lifetime War goodby and get the other 20k personnel out of there as our own working classes have pay enough for this criminal war and our now in heavy debt along with our country!

    December 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  52. Steve

    "I was in Kuwait on the eve of the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. At the time, I assumed the military campaign would be swift and decisive – just like the first Gulf War in 1991, which I also covered. That 1991 air and ground war lasted about six weeks.

    If someone would have said to me in 2003 that U.S. troops would only be leaving Iraq by the end of 2011, I would have thought them crazy. "

    This is proof positive that Blitzer is a fool. I told everyone I talked to before the invasion that it would go exactly the way it has because it was being run by short-sighted fools like Bush, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz, all of whom should be in prison for their gross negligence. The incompetents General Tommy Franks and Paul Bremer should be there with them.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  53. FoxiWolf

    Dearest Wolf: why are you concerned my friend? Just focus on reporting the nonsense you have been reporting for the past several years since the golf war. Be concerned about US policies toward middle east. after all, you ought to know more since you've been there and got early education there. I tell you what, ask my buddy Fareed and he will educate you and will tell you that you should not be worried about Iraq.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  54. Mike

    There have been a lot of superlatives in the comments here, but it's hard to argue that the Iraq hasn't been one of the most costly, futile exercises in the history of the U.S.

    December 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  55. NN

    All the US knows how to do is bomb things, every other aspect of its actions is a horrendous disaster based on one misjudgment after another, The Bush administration sleaze will go to their graves continuing to pontificate with their delusional sophistry. Thank God the country has gone bust, it will be all they can do to keep from starving before long.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  56. Miami1111

    Bush made Iran & Syria & Hezbollah stronger by taking out Saddam Hussein. Not only that, but all Iraqui Christians are all dead–killed either by us or by Iranian terrorists. Way to go, George W.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  57. ken

    The war on iraq was based on lies wolf...remember? Our blood and resourses were waisted from the start.

    Lets worry about whats going on here now wolf. Time to come home now wolf.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  58. JustPosting

    The meeting between the heads of USA and Iraq is just for camera only. Everyone knows that it is just a facing-saving act. Obama understands it very well that US has to withdraw the troops. The other option is to stay there and waste more money, resources and perhaps lives; and withdraw eventually. A mistake was made, there is just nothing to accomplish. Once the meeting is over, Obama wouldn't care about Iraq anymore. The only thing he care is to close the book on Iraq and move on. Whatever happen to Iraq is out of his hand anyway.

    Blitzer is a very intelligent person, he should know that Obama just want to accept the reality and close the book ASAP! Only foolish people think Bush had truly won the war and earned the mandate of governing Iraq. Only foolish people think another month or 3 months of US troops there would firmly establish US's victory.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  59. Brian

    "It’s all pretty depressing given the enormous blood and treasure the U.S. invested in liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s regime."..................................................................Did Iraq want to be "liberated?" We invaded Iraq because our president was mislead by Wolfowitz about WMD.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  60. Blue

    It would be easier to understand why we stay in Iraq than Afghanistan. We have no geostrategic reasons for being there. Economics? No. To counter or balance the Russians? No. To balance the Indo-Pakistani conflict? No. Osama Bin Laden? No. Enough said.I have to go to california to say goodbye to my son who is deploying to Afghnaistan to support a corrupt government

    December 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  61. Robyn

    We have thrown away the lives of almost 32,000 Americans and perhaps 1,000,000 Iraqis.
    We have bankrupted our country and made lies, deceit, torture and genocide normal in the eyes of the world.
    We have discarded the sacred honor of our country and sold our souls for the pride and hubris of a cabal of evil men.
    George W Bush hides in a hole just like Saddam Hussein, to avoid the rightous justice of the Swiss.
    "The wicked flee when no man pursueth." We are truly damned.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  62. marty

    We should have never invaded Iraq in the first place. What have we gained after all these years? Wolf Blitzer is a Zionist.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  63. Greg, Ontario

    Wolf Canada (without a doubt your closest ally and friend) has often said no to things they didn't agree with America on. Our relationship is still envied all over the world. What you are doing is putting a negative spin on another country daring to take a different stand on an issue. That my friend is way below you. If not for America Iraq would have been turned into an Iranian slave area a long time ago and the entire world knows it. There is no reason for taking that fact and applying a negative spin at the administration. That is something you read in the Tabloids for dummies not CNN.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  64. Paul bergen

    Ron Paul said this would happen in 2002. This is what happens when you ignore him.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  65. Paul bergen

    How could you not have known this would happen? Saddam Hussein was put in power by the US and supported by the US because he's the firewall keeping the 2 main Shiite nations apart: Iraq and Iran. Saddam was a Sunni, and ran an apartheid government to keep the Shiite majority repressed and keep them away from Iran. If anybody bothered to Wikipedia Iraq before invading they would have known that with Saddam out, the US would be stuck in Iraq forever because as soon as they left, the Shiite majority would unite with Iran. It was soooo obvious. But in 2002, Ron Paul was the only guy talking about this, and everybody said he was crazy.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  66. grace

    Prolonged war is never good for any nation, however leaving Iraq in its current disarray will be catastrophic because right next door is Iran which is currently developing nuclear bombs (despite UN condemnation) and has stated numerous times their intention to use these weapons against the US and Israel. To abandon our fortifications and hand them (along with the second largest oil reserves in the world) over to Iran means many of our soldiers and many more Iraqi civilians died in vain and trillions of dollars have been wasted. An already horrible situation is made even worse by our current administration's signal to retreat.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  67. RichM

    Iran is controlling its own people only with difficulty. I wouldn't be so worried about their influence in Iraq.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  68. DMoneyx2

    Blitz – my main man...no worries...you are safe in the Situation Room!

    December 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  69. Emerson

    There were so many options we could have taken to avoid this war,but instead,we chose the most cruel,and expensive route,which was to invade Iraq.Every single country in the world were againt such invasion,but we did it anyway.
    Now why was it cruel?most people don't know the real facts behinde it;just for the records:100.000 civilians dead( wemen,children,elders)1.000.000 people dispersed as fefugees to neighboring countries ( Syria,Jordan,Iemem)
    On our side:30,000 soldiers mutilated,7,000 dead,,and about 2.0 trillions in the hole.
    Now think about it,was it all necessary?I will leave you that question.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  70. Robert Puckett

    I agree with you, Wolf. Iraq is not a closed society. It is open to influences from Iran, Afghanistan and Syria, as well as from the USA.

    We 21st century Americans are learning a lesson that would have been inconceivable to us 65 years ago. We are only one of many actors on the world stage. And we don't always know our lines.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  71. carlin123

    It was the biggest waste of time, money and lives in the history of the world.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Jim

      Actually. World War One was the biggest waste of human lives and money. 10 million soldiers and civillians were killed, and only led us to WW2 where 60 million lives were lost.

      December 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • cykill

      ...besides religion...

      December 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • a

      I am not sure why we went into IRAQ. I would just leave that area alone. Quick incursions by drones to kill terrorist are fine. Otherwise I would let whatever happens happen in that area of the world. I am tired of the US looking for trouble. I think the US should be energy dependent and let N.A.T.O. deal with that part of this world.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • marat

      A good rule for the U.S: don't get involved in "conflicts" around the world which you do not truly have the will to win."

      December 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Sheepleherder

      No, that distinction goes the the series of pointless "crusades" to the "Holy Land" for ... what, exactly??

      December 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Iaintnofool

      The Iraq war proves that if you threaten to start trading Oil in Euros rahter than than the US $, we will retaliate, Regarldess of how much it costs, who dies, what it does to the worlds view of our country. We sure showed him.....I agree. complete waste of time, money and LIVES.........

      December 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Qwash

      Vietnam?

      December 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • Avi Shlomo

      Amen and the one who committed the biggest treason are free.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • bill

      sad. but true.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • j mann

      I'm Bushed just thinking about it.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • davedog

      Carlin has it right.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Mikem235

      It probably wasn't the biggest waste of time and money ever...but feel free to overstate it.

      December 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Tom

      Thanks carlin. You said exactly what I have in mind. I predicted this exactly even before it started. Thanks again.

      December 12, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
  72. Ralph_Indy

    So we spend more then the next 12 or so nations on the military. Soon we will be a third world country and the Chinese and Brazil will be in charge. We need to get out of a lot more places.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Avi Shlomo

      We are already a third world. Look how many items you buy that are US made Vs those of Chinese origin?
      this is the price one pay when a Government has two masters.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • NaziJesus

      Do you actually think that Chine OR Brazil have the resources or capabilities of attaining and holding the position the US holds today. Sure we're heading to hell in a handbasket the way things are, but China is about to experience civil strife unseen anywhere before, and Brazil is just lol

      December 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  73. mike

    We were worried about China in the 1970s, now were worried about Iran in 2011. It's natural. Iran wil be a Mideast power player. Accept it. The problem is not Shia Iran, it's the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. Sunnis brought down the WTC, not Shia. If they get control of Syria watch out. You can bet The Brotherhood is looking to confront Israel. Mark it down.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • MATTY13

      What a great soothsayer you are. The Arabs/Islam want to confront Israel. Wow!! You are so smart. I didn't even think of that.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  74. MrLolhaha

    Mr Blitzer must have ZERO grasp on the world he lives in. If he did not forsee that if someone gave a religious country with 70% of its population of faith X democracy they would vote in favor of their religious affiliation`s political party, then he is a fool.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Sammy

      On the contrary. Mr. Blitzer has afull grasp of the world we're living in. It's just that as a Rabbi's son and a person whose only Allegiance is to Israel he would have the US fight all Israel's enemies to the last US soldier.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • michael

      He's not a fool. He's a hypocrite who plays both sides of the street.

      December 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  75. Hassan

    Wolf, I too am concerned about Iraq. Nevertheless, there there will never be a perfect exit strategy. The longer we are there, the more we risk alienation in the middle east and the more we are looked upon as occupiers. The power we have is being a example of democracy and freedom to the world. What form of government Iraq chooses and how the country progresses will be up to it's people. History needs to run it's course.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • a

      The perfect exit strategy vanished upon entry. Let us get out immediately before any more losses. IRAQ enjoy yourself–good bye.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  76. Jeff

    Whatever happens to Iraq, I don't give a damn. As long as we are out of there. Iran can do whatever they want with it. Now let's get out of Afghanistan too.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Ricksta

      Great idea! You should run for President.

      December 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • scott

      Some Americans have always said this as this great nation has fought it's enemies, and they have always been wrong. We didn't want to get involved in WW2 until it landed on our doorstep. The minute we stop taking on the worlds bullies is the minute we lose our integrity, what it is to be American, and become a lesser nation.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • lroy

      I am totally biased, because I personally know a war mom whose son will be among the troops coming home...Praise God (sorry "Allah").

      December 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • rico

      he's got my vote

      December 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Maximus coriolanus

      Of course. We need to keep an eye on our enemies, or face another 9/11. Yeah you should run for president!!!

      December 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  77. Jim

    We fought so Iraq could be "free," not so it could be tied to the USA.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Tony

      No Jim. It was WMD. You forget already?

      December 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Rich

      Or handed on a silver platter to Iran. But it is what it is.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • rico

      i'm pretty sure that was the followup reason, after WMDs were not found. it was never about setting them free, that's just the cover story.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Dave

      No, we fought in Iraq to let it be politically tied to Iran...

      December 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  78. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    Look Blitzer you don't seem to get it. Iraq is a corrupt government, and America was stupid for ever getting into this mess. Once the US presence leaves, this God forsaken country will slowly return to squabbling among its 3 different secs. The terrorists groups will have a field day in disrupting this foul proped up govt. Eventually a dictator from some one of these groups and will rise to power. Things will go back to the way they were when Sadam was beginning his rule.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Avi Shlomo

      This is funny after all the trillion it is corrupt. I could have told you that before the money is wasted. it is corrupt because it is made by the corrupt US Governmnet.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • ibrad

      The Iraq was was a perfect front to unload billions of taxpayer money on a handful of people...Blackwater,CIA,Haliburton,The Bush`s,Cheney`s and a few groups we don`t even know about yet. We will in about 20-30 years!

      December 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  79. Amazing

    Do we really care how Wolf feels? Let's face some facts here. Iraq is a soveriegn nation that we invaded under false pretense. They have to decide their future and it is time for us to leave. Is there risk? No question. But the irsk is much greater if we stay and occupy their land. We simply have to use the combination of diplomacy and force (when necessary) to continue to prevent terroists from attacking our country and citizens. The president was right that Iraq was a dumb war!

    December 12, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Tony

      Yes actually we care very much how he feels. His sentiment is the feeling we should all have. Our invasion of Iraq was the worst foreign policy blunder in US history. But it's done. We killed, were killed destroyed and paid a huge price. So now Wolf hopes for the best going forward and there's a problem with that?

      December 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
      • Ernest

        It's called ... making a terrible mistake that cuase the lives of 4000 troops and over 500,000 innocent Iraqis and then doubling down on the mistake by remaining in Iraq for another 10 years and spending another trillion dollars after the trillions already spent.... That's why we should not care about how wolf feels...

        December 12, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Delegree

      You are ABSOLUTELY right! We are our brothers keepers when it's a legitimate cause but we were lied to and now we're supposed to maintain the lie and fight for a country that doesn't want us there? How ridiculous, let's get the hell out and t
      Let this sovereign government handle there country. I wonder if the deficit would decrease since we'll save a little move getting out of this war.

      December 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  80. Darth Vader Mentor

    Time will tell, Wolf, but I think it was wise to pull out of the proxy war and concentrate on going after the center of the problems, Iran and Syria. The Biling Frog blog site comments on reports that US troops are now beeing massed on the border with Syria in Jordan, if this is true, then someone finally got the right enemy target.

    President Bush made a huge strategic mistake in attacking Iraq. We should have never had two conflicts running at the same time. That was just plain foolish, as history has shown us. Hitler made the same mistake and lost the war.

    If we close up in Afghanistan as well and concentrate on Iran through Syria we are going after the right enemy. If Iran and Syria are taken out, the whole house of cards collapses. Fighting proxy wars is a loosing strategy, just letting our boys bleed and never truly hitting the core enemy, just like Korea and Vietnam.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  81. yuri pelham

    I knew all this and more years ago. The whole enterprise has been carried out carelessly and will have an unhappy ending. After we leave civil war will ensue and just as we learned re Vietnam so to will we recognize it was an exercise in futility.... just like Afghanistan. And with respect to Obama, he is as phoney as Gingrich and Romney.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  82. Toks

    There is no good time to leave Iraq. More American life do not have to be lost to stay where you are no longer wanted. In 100 years the relationship between the Iraqs and Iranians will exist and breaking it cannot be a viable US policy or interest

    December 12, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  83. loathstheright

    They will simply return to their religious sects killing each other...it's what they do.

    December 12, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  84. Baayers

    Advocate for freedom yet complain when others act in their own interest. The Corporate Way

    December 12, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  85. allwarsdumb

    all wars are dumb... well other than for those who get rich on it... maybe we should just put those greedy people in a vat with sharks (do sharks eat their own?)

    December 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • JMGing

      Yeah, World War II sure was dumb. Tell that to the Holocaust survivors who were liberated from Auschwitz and the numerous other death camps. Tell that to the French who remember what it was like when their country was overtaken by Germany, and how it felt to think they might become part of the Third Reich. Tell that to every Jewish man, woman, and child in the countries which Hitler had not yet reached but had every plan to take and subsequently complete his Final Solution. Heck, tell it to yourself, if Europe fell while we sat and watched, were we going to fight the German Empire and Japan by ourselves? Saying all wars are dumb is like saying all Democrats are dumb, or all Republicans are dumb. Iraq very well may have been a dumb war, it was definitely a quasi failure not worth the cost. But to come out and say all wars are dumb? Only fools reason in absolutes.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  86. fred ca

    Gosh Wolf, hope you can get obama's attention. However, since there is no money in this for his wall street, union and chicago thugs I do not think that is likely. And since it could interfere with his vacation...

    December 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  87. Griff

    "I thought they were thinking of bringing the guy back to the USA? The one they have in that Iraq prison."

    December 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  88. Chandra

    By the way don't think if your beloved Republican President had not invaded this country none of your concerns would have been valid today?

    December 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  89. Big al

    Iraq is a big win for Iran. Just wait. Iran does not want Iraq to be a success because it would mean an American success. Iran will foment trouble and Iraq will fall into civil war and we will end up being blamed. Very sad considering all the blood and treasure we spent.

    December 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  90. musings

    "The enormous blood and treasure the US invested in Iraq"? And now they are leaning towards Iran? I suppose Wolf wants us to attack Iran to "save" what we "own" by invading Iraq. Gee, we're now supposed to be pulling strings in Iraq, lest they stray from OUR agendas.

    I once rented a home for a year. I planted a rose bush. Does that mean I have the right to insist the homeowner never pulls up my little rose bush, which is so beautiful, so perfectly placed, and which I spent money on and even bloodied my fingers? Absurd!

    As is Wolf's view that we have any rights whatsoever in Iraq. We're lucky they aren't killing us on the way out.

    December 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  91. ChrkeePrde

    You forgot one Wolf: What about the risk of Iran invading or taking administrative charge of Iraq after U.S troops leave?

    December 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  92. Susu Ibie

    Leave Iraq alone, worry about the US. some of us see a trend in the US which we find disturbing. Some ridicule it and hope the US self destructs ultimately, others are genuinely concerned. Me? I am just worried about the effect on the more vulnerable nations who may not be able to cope. Don't ask me what the trend is, the point being; mind your business.

    December 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  93. Rich, Pittsburgh

    Wolf: With all due respect... if you are a professional reporter/journalist, why do we care what you think? Isn't the job of the reporter/journalist to report the news independent of any personal opinion. In the media in general, there is too much empahsis on what the reporter/journalist thinks or feels. I alwasy get nervouse when I hear a reporter say: "well I think this...or I think that". Your job is to report the news, not make or spin the news.

    December 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • JMGing

      Its a blog. And its not journalism or reporting. Its an opinion.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • JMGing

      Also, reporting the news requires subjectivity in most cases. The idea that journalists and reporters are capable of speaking without bias is ludicrous. To have a brain which has seen or heard, and to speak with that brain, is inseparable from bias. Now there is ridiculous spin that diverges from reason or honesty, but this isn't it.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Rich

      True, however this is Wolf's BLOG. So of course it's his opinion. Clearly-marked opinion pieces ARE the proper venue for a journalist's opinions – buried in slanted articles is not, although that occurs far more often than it should.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  94. mike

    The US should not tell Iraq how to treat Syria, just as Iraq should not tell the US how to treat Canada.

    December 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  95. mike

    Good. Iraq can think for itself.

    December 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  96. Lisa

    As a former contractor stationed in Iraq from 2003 until 2011 (December) I can tell you first hand that security is needed. Its preposterous to think that "cowboy contractors" are on the ground. The SOFA that pertains to the military pertains to contractors as well from my understanding. They will not have any protection. If you break a law in Iraq, you will be held up to the same laws as an Iraqi citizen and the same punishment. I too worry about Iraq. They are not stable. We all know why we are not over there now. That was the right decision considering we could not find an agreement with the Iraqis in regards of our soldiers remaining in country. Right now, hundreds to several thousand contractors from US Citizens to Bangladeshi remain in Iraq supporting the DOS mission. Those individuals are poorly protected. I know this first hand. Some are stuck at their bases right now, because they cannot fly out on the Dyncorp flights (some have not taken effect yet on bases) that replaced MILAIR, so the only option is convoys and those convoys are susceptible to attacks, posing risks to those individuals to being kidnapped. You are completely right Wolf to be worried about Iraq. Its not just our citizens, its for the Iraqi citizens as well.

    December 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Fwolfblitzer

      Wolf, seemed not to mention the blood and treasure the Iraq folks have lost for all of caring for Iraq. He mentioned USA wild adventure 10 year adventure. Hey Wolf, why did you think it would be a 6 week venture? The oil companies needed more than 6 weeks to install a government. Soon Iraq will have a full Shia government and after a long war with the Kurd s the Shia will control all of Iraq. The pther countries will be securely taken over and run by the Muslim Brotherhood and then Israel will get their upcommance for they way they have treated the Palastanians.

      December 12, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Ernest

      If the contractors want to be safe(r)... all they have to do is leave Iraq....

      December 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  97. Aldo Martinez

    Iraq's fate was sealed when Pres. G.W. Bush invaded Iraq and deposed the Bathist government of Iraq in favor of the Shite ruling Iran clan. What did we actually expect would eventually happen? We will see Iraq, long time enemy of and check on Iran, now become an Iranian ally in the region - thank you Pres. G. W. Bush – there was a reason your dad did not invade Iraq when he was President. So let's not be surprised with the outcome or blame President Obama for this eventual outcome. Even the Iraq exit treaty was negotiated by Pres. G. W. Bush administration.

    December 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • JMGing

      Obama is the Commander in Chief. He can, and has disregarded Bush's exit strategy; which is within his power as President. That doesn't mean he's chosen the correct avenue for departure. Bush screwed up, there's no doubt; but Obama doesn't get to direct the finale without being subject to his people's judgement, good or bad.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  98. m. oliver

    It was a huge mistake to go in war Iragi, Geroge Bush belive that once Sudden Husane was gone, the poeple would greet us like the Franch poeple did in WW11 happy to be liberated, instaed we got nothing but angree poeple thing we want to distroyed their country and take over their oil. My hart gose out to all the US military who gave their life for this mass. President Obama had the will to get us out of Iragi, lets hope for ever, Wolf you really push this!

    December 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  99. roderick

    Hey wolf , if youre so concerned about iraq..swap your tailored suit for a combat uniform and go over there and fight...we want all our troops home!

    December 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  100. Jim Thomas

    We should be concerned but we need to get out of there and also Afganistan.Why loose our fine troops for heathins.They have been fighting every since the beginning so let them kill each other off.It has broke our country as a result plus all of our G.I.'s that have been killed.It is sad that nobody pays attention to what the people say in this country anymore.We need to vote all incumbants out now.They are useless.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    December 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • scott

      Because we have to stand up to Islamic Terrorism, that's why. I agree with Wolf that we/Bush made a grave and expensive mistake not understanding the connection between Iraq and Iran, but his/our desire to act was the right thing to do. It's just a question of how.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • JMGing

      We can help rebuild these countries and help with the stability of their new governments. It was the mistake of leaving Afghanistan without the means to rebuild after helping them defeat the Soviets that led us to this. We did a great thing for the Afghans when we gave them the means to stave off the Soviet Union, we saved many lives; unfortunately after the Russian's retreated back, we didn't do what needed to be done to help rebuild Afghanistan. We turned the page too quickly and a country was left in ruins with weapons we provided them with. It created the perfect situation for terrorism to breed. What began with an act that helped Afghanistan(whilst also helping to beat back Communism), hurt them and us in the end because we turned the page too quickly.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
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