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'The war is over': Last US soldiers leave Iraq
As troops leave Iraq, they cross the border into Kuwait for the final steps toward departure. NBC's Richard Engel reports.
By NBC News, msnbc.com staff and news services
Updated at 6:02 am ET
KHABARI CROSSING, Kuwait -- The last American troops crossed the border from Iraq into Kuwait early Sunday, ending the U.S. military presence there after nearly nine years.
As the last convoy left Iraq at daybreak Sunday, soldiers whooped, bumped fists and embraced each other in a burst of joy and relief, The Associated Press reported.
NBC News' Richard Engel tweeted from the border: "The gate to #iraq is closed. Soldier just told me, 'that's it, the war is over.'"
The final column of around 100 mostly MRAP armored vehicles carrying 500 U.S. troops trundled through the night along an empty highway, across the southern Iraq desert to the Kuwaiti border.
After a ceremony Thursday in Baghdad formally marking the end of the war, the timing and all other details of the departure of the last convoy were kept under tight secrecy due to security concerns. The low-key end to the war was just another reminder of how dangerous Iraq remains, even though violence is lower now than at any other time since the 2003 invasion. 
The 210-mile trip from a base in southern Iraq took about five hours.
"I just can't wait to call my wife and kids and let them know I am safe," Sgt. First Class Rodolfo Ruiz said as the border came into sight. Soon afterward, he told his men the mission was over: "Hey guys, you made it."
NBC's Richard Engel answers your questions about Iraq
The Iraq war began on March 20, 2003, at a time when national defense was a top priority for Americans still shocked by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It continued with the invasion and ouster of Saddam Hussein, then ground through years of war against an insurgency that left tens of thousands dead.
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Among those dead were nearly 4,500 Americans, and the war cost $800 billion from the U.S. Treasury. The question of whether it was worth it all is yet unanswered.
"It's good to see this thing coming to a close. I was here when it started," Staff Sgt. Christian Schultz said just before leaving Contingency Operating Base Adder, 185 miles south of Baghdad, for the border. "I saw a lot of good changes, a lot of progress, and a lot of bad things too."
Maya Alleruzzo / AP
Army soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas, inspect their body armor at Camp Adder during final preparations for the last American convoy to leave Iraq.
For President Barack Obama, the military pullout is the fulfilment of an election promise to bring troops home from a conflict inherited from his predecessor that tainted America's standing worldwide.
For Iraqis, it brings a sense of sovereignty but fuels worries their country may slide once again into the kind of sectarian violence that killed thousands of people at its peak in 2006-2007.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-led government still struggles with a delicate power-sharing arrangement between Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni parties, leaving Iraq vulnerable to meddling by Sunni Arab nations and Shiite Iran.
PhotoBlog: Troops move out
The intensity of violence and suicide bombings has subsided for now. But a stubborn Sunni Islamist insurgency and rival Shiite militias remain a threat, carrying out almost daily attacks.
Iraq says its forces can contain the violence but they lack capabilities in areas such as air defense and intelligence gathering. A deal for several thousand U.S. troops to stay on as trainers fell apart over the sensitive issue of legal immunity.
NYT: Junkyard's secret accounts of massacre
For many Iraqis security remains a worry -- but no more than jobs and getting access to power in a country whose national grid provides only a few hours of electricity a day.
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"We don't think about America... We think about electricity, jobs, our oil, our daily problems," said Abbas Jaber, a government employee in Baghdad. "They left chaos."
Payments to sheikhs
After Obama announced in October that troops would come home by the end of the year as scheduled, the number of U.S. military bases was whittled down quickly as hundreds of troops and trucks carrying equipment headed south to the Kuwaiti border.
U.S. forces, which had ended combat missions in 2010, paid $100,000 a month to tribal sheikhs to secure different parts of highways leading south to reduce the risk of roadside bombings and attacks.
The conflict by the numbers
At the height of the war, more than 170,000 U.S. troops were in Iraq at more than 500 bases. By Saturday, there were fewer than 3,000 troops, and one base.
At COB Adder, as dusk fell before the departure of the last convoy, one group of soldiers slapped barbecue sauce on slabs of ribs brought in from Kuwait and laid them on grills alongside hotdogs and sausages.
Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Janna Less, center, 23, smiles as she sits on the last Air Force flight out of Ali Air Base near Nasiriyah, en route to Kuwait on Saturday.
The last troops flicked on the lights studding their MRAP vehicles and stacked flak jackets and helmets in neat piles, ready for the final departure for Kuwait and then home.
"A good chunk of me is happy to leave. I spent 31 months in this country," said Sgt. Steven Schirmer, 25, after three tours of Iraq since 2007. "It almost seems I can have a life now, though I know I am probably going to Afghanistan in 2013. Once these wars end I wonder what I will end up doing."
Remembering the last slain American
When the convoy crossed the border into Kuwait around 7:45 a.m. local time, the atmosphere was subdued inside one of the vehicles. Along the road, a small group of Iraqi soldiers waved to the departing American troops.
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"My heart goes out to the Iraqis," said Warrant Officer John Jewell, acknowledging the challenges ahead. "The innocent always pay the bill."
'Smooth sailing'
Soldiers standing just inside the crossing on the Kuwaiti side of the border waved and snapped photos as the final trucks rumbled over.
"I'm pretty excited," said Sgt. Ashley Vorhees. "I'm out of Iraq. It's all smooth sailing from here."
Vote: How would you describe the war in Iraq?
A handful of U.S. military personnel will remain in the country, working with the U.S. Embassy to help with arms sales and training for Iraqi forces. Talks could resume next year on whether more U.S. troops can return for future training missions.
In the meantime, U.S. officials say there will be roughly 16,000 people involved in the American diplomatic effort in Iraq.
About 2,000 will be diplomats and federal workers. The remaining 14,000 will be contractors -- roughly half involved with security.
NBC News, msnbc.com staff, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Troops move out of Iraq ... then next stop is home
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Discuss this post
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Phil Katz
Tell me when the last American dollar is sent to Iraq.
13 votes
#1 - Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:51 PM EST
Occam's Razor
I think we replaced the "troops" with private contractors. And, we have a large number of military personnel in the region. My guess-the change is a net zero.
At least we can say that the troops were removed on the scheduled agreed to three years ago. One good point. Still - the NET reduction is close to zero.
8 votes
#1.1 - Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:59 PM EST
Mark-2446186
100% FALSE. No private contractors left. No "large number of personnel". You're either misinformed or intentionally misleading people.
The ONLY people who will still be there are ONLY 100 to 150 officials to stay at the American Embassy. That's IT.
Seriously - instead of GUESSING? Try looking it up. 100 to 150 officials at the embassy - every last troop is GONE. It's over.
7 votes
#1.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:05 AM EST
SeaBa
@Mark-2446186 Only 100 to 150 officials at the new American Embassy larger than the Vatican. RIGHT. I believe that one.
1 vote
#1.3 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:08 AM EST
Mark-2446186
You don't have to "believe" it. See, that's the thing with FACTS. You can just LOOK IT UP.
4 votes
#1.4 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:09 AM EST
SeaBa
@Mark-2446186 4,000-5,000 Defense contractors will be in the Embassy for one.
4 votes
#1.5 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:16 AM EST
Mark-2446186
Defense contractors build things, SeaBa. The WAR is over. American troops are coming home - ALL of them, apart from 175 - that's it - who will remain at the U.S. embassy - that's less troops than we have stationed in any individual country in the world. Defense contractors ALWAYS go to countries after U.S. wars. To say that the war is not over, or that all the troops aren't coming home by the 31st, because "defense contractors" will be there to build, re-build, etc. - who aren't even part of the U.S. military, and who have moneyed contracts with companies there - is absurd. Understand?
5 votes
#1.6 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:21 AM EST
SeaBa
You just said above "100% FALSE. No private contractors left. No "large number of personnel". You're either misinformed or intentionally misleading people."
I was responding to your comment. You are contradicting yourself. You going to back peddle on your statement now?
6 votes
#1.7 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:24 AM EST
meanest one
Look at Mark educating the masses. Well done sir!
3 votes
#1.8 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:29 AM EST
ToddF12
SeaBa, don't you know...we built those huge military infrastructures just to leave them unattended! LOL!
2 votes
#1.9 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:30 AM EST
meanest one
If you are going to claim that the war in Iraq has not ended, please share your source. Thank you.
4 votes
#1.10 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:39 AM EST
omena
Mark #########. Basically most of us do not believe your version of the facts. Nothing personal, but many of us not longer believe the words of the American government. I make a serious effort to dig deep enough to find the truth and find only that the truth is buried beneath so many layers of BS that it is almost impossible to find. The lies are much easier to identify.
As to the 100 and some troops you claim to be remaining in Iraq. I would prefer to believe that our government is not stupid enough to maintain such a small presence.
5 votes
#1.11 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:47 AM EST
Colorblind-2498596
Soldiers!!! We will keep the light on for you!! Thank you for your service and the sacrifices that you and your families made for our country. Hope you make it home in time for Christmas, but more importantly, hope that you are out of harms way.
5 votes
#1.12 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:48 AM EST
Maple12String
Mark, (Defense contractors build things). Build? They only thing they will build will be their off-shore accounts through over priced services with under achieved results!
6 votes
#1.13 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:57 AM EST
Colorblind-2498596
At least the contractors will have to hire their own security rather than depend on troop who make GS wages rather than the billions that the contractors make. If they can secure contracts there, fine, but they will have to take their chances like everyone else.
4 votes
#1.14 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:08 AM EST
pjimmy74
Who is this Mark-2446186 guy? You think you know everything? Stop deceiving the public ok. US military will forever remain in Iraq just like we did Germany, Korea, Japan and Kuwait. You don't know what you talking about and you don't have any facts. Of course nobody hear can get any facts so you keep telling people to do their homework. What homework? Go to the library and read about troops reduction that everyone knows? Stop being a douche guy!
4 votes
#1.15 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:10 AM EST
Ron-2115409
Mark=2446186...The facts are as follows. There are 3k-4k private contractors made up of mostly security to protect the Embassy and the 157 ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONEL still in the country. How do I know this...my wife and mother of our two boys is one of those INVISIBLE troops that are still in country mopping up the pieces. They will not be coming home soon and our fingers are crossed that nothing happens to them in the mean time. When you people spout your "facts" remember there is always a margin of error and in this case those margins have names and families waiting for "The Last Troop To Leave Iraq" .
2 votes
#1.16 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:46 AM EST
Wisconsin Voter-530116
The significance of the troop departure is that it ends the presence of the U.S. military in Iraq. Going forward the State Department will take over the mission which will need to maintain security for personnel assigned to the embassy and two consulates. There is no doubt that it will be expensive.
Now we rejoice that our troops can come home, their mission accomplished - finally. A big thank you to all who served and sacrificed.
However, we should consider Bush and the Republicans' approach to getting rid of a dictator with that of Obama's. Bush went after Saddam Hussein; it took 9 years, 4000 American lives, billions of dollars. Obama aided in deposing Qaddafi; it took weeks, no boots on the ground, no lives lost and negligible costs in support of the Libyan uprising.
5 votes
#1.17 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:55 AM EST
FatCatGets$700Bil
Ten years ago, America invaded Iraq claiming Iraq has WMD that threatens American security. When UN as well as American inspectors failed to find any evidence of WMD, the US mission was changed to destroying the terrorists or Al Queda. So for the past ten years, the American military conducted search and destroy missions aimed at annihilating the terrorists but also exacted a deadly toll on the Iraqi civilians. Tens of thousands of men, women, and children have been killed by US fire power. America's euphemism calls the slaughter "a collateral damage" as if Iraqi lives were dispensible inanimate objects.
The American occupation and governance of Iraq have brought resentment and anger from the Muslim communities that see American imperialism imposing its will upon the Middle East. For some, it is a another Crusader Army sent from the West to conquer the Islamic world. It is not surprising that America's invasion of Iraq served as a magnet for Jihadist who are willing to sacrifice all for the liberation of Iraq from the Crusaders.
After ten years of waging war in Iraq, can America truely claim its military forces have eliminated all and any Iraqi terrorist threat directed toward USA? If not, then the nearly 5000 American soldiers sent to death and trillions of dollars spent in Iraq are for what purpose?
It is becoming apparent that the only beneficiaries of the Iraq War are the weapon profiteers and war lovers.
7 votes
#1.18 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:00 AM EST
Nelson-537300
Mark, are you really as stupid as you sound? There will be 16 thousand to remain in the largest American Embassy in the world, that would be Iraq, and 5 to 6 thousand of them are contractors who will be there to defend them, it is all a political side show to achieve an objective before re-election, pay the mercenaries as we have been so we can look like were out of there,unlike you here is some proof for you.​http://www.npr.org/2011/12/18/143863722/with-huge-embassy-u-s-still-a-presence-in-iraq
Wow just blows my mind how easily people are persuaded by our government!
3 votes
#1.19 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:43 AM EST
3 Gold Bars
Mark, there are 16,000 (sixteen THOUSAND) US personnel remaining at the embassy compound in Iraq. That's astounding. Sure, there's only 157 military personnel 'officially' remaining as security in the US embassy, but that's not quite the issue now is it? The US is not "leaving Iraq" at all by simply removing the "combat troops", and there are PLENTY of US military personnel surrounding Iraq, and Iran for that matter, at US bases in Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Jordan, and Kyrgyzstan, and the use of bases with smaller US contingents in Saudi Arabia, Georgia, Egypt, as well as thousands of sailors and Marines offshore in the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Indian Ocean, etc... It's time to bring them all home.
2 votes
#1.20 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:00 AM EST
kacz
Wisconsin Voter you also forgot to add that Obama got OBL within three years of assuming office while GWB had almost nine years to track him down and do the same thing. Instead he went after a faux threat in Iraq and decided to entrench us in a war which cost us hundreds of billions of dollars, thousands of lives and turned our country inside out with animosity toward one another.
2 votes
#1.21 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:08 AM EST
Chris from Yucaipa
After much delay the United States opened its new $700 million embassy in Iraq on Monday, inaugurating the largest — and most expensive — embassy ever built.
The 104-acre compound, bigger than the Vatican and about the size of 80 football fields, boasts 21 buildings, a commissary, cinema, retail and shopping areas, restaurants, schools, a fire station, power and water treatment plants, as well as telecommunications and wastewater treatment facilities.
The compound is six times larger than the United Nations compound in New York, and two-thirds the size of the National Mall in Washington.
It has space for 1,000 employees with six apartment blocks and is 10 times larger than any other U.S. embassy.
So please tell me, how are 16,000 people planning to live there? Sleeping in hallways, the grass, the bathrooms? Because they sure as hell are not going to barracks them in town.
Saw another article that states:
Lower-level employees will squeeze into 619 one-bedroom apartments.
But you know what? I can't find a single reliable source that backs up your ridiculous claim that we'll have 16,000 troops in that embassy. If you had any common sense at all, you'd realize that our embassy will be target #1 for attacks. So why would they cram 16,000 people in there? It would be the equivalent of firing a shotgun into a barrel packed with fish.
So please, lets see the source of your information. OR are you simply running off at the mouth as I suspect?
1 vote
#1.22 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:30 AM EST
Rusty513
@ Chris - Did you actually read the article above before deciding to comment as it states there will 16,000 American in Iraq in pursuit of diplomatic goals with 2,000 being federal employees and the remain 14,000 being contracts of which about half will be security, or do you not consider this article to be a "reliable source"? Of course not all of those will be operating in the Embassy. We do have consulates in Iraq as well and smaller diplomatic missions scattered all over the country.
#1.23 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:11 AM EST
Bluelake
kacz- In that short post you just stated some very important facts. Well said.
1 vote
#1.24 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:41 AM EST
j70141 in Colorado
Amazing the things that can happen when an election is coming up.
1 vote
#1.25 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:44 AM EST
Bob-434277
Bet it takes less than a year before this country heads for the Arab sh!tter
#1.26 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:53 AM EST
johnQcitizen
Iraq.what a massive waste of time,money and lives.all to kill one dictator.bush jr is the worst president ever.hes just too stupid to realize it
#1.27 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:53 AM EST
Will-1091847
@Rusty
You beat me to the punch. Last two paragraphs of the article:
In the meantime, U.S. officials say there will be roughly 16,000 people involved in the American diplomatic effort in Iraq.
About 2,000 will be diplomats and federal workers. The remaining 14,000 will be contractors -- roughly half involved with security.
Unfortunately, most people don't read the whole article before they comment.
1 vote
#1.28 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:03 AM EST
IRESPOND-2315268
A "Thank you" form Bush and Cheney to the soldiers returning from Iraq is in order; but then again, when have they ever done the right thing? This war was for oil. Anybody that thinks otherwise should just see the kind of "embassy" that "We" have built there with tax money. It is another pentagon. It is the largest embassy in the whole world. I hardly think that the building is full of "diplomats"
Basically we are starting a new "cold war" the Middle East. Iraq will be the headquarters for espionage, oil resources, etc. Please don't kid yourselves that the government is just going to let go 1 trillion dollars slip away!
#1.29 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:13 AM EST
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Marcy BellaVIA FACEBOOK
welcome to america!!!
#2 - Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:52 PM EST
karim3343
lol, they are not in America; These troops are in Kuwait.
3 votes
#2.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:01 AM EST
Mark-2446186
Well - on the way home now. But way to ruin the mood.
4 votes
#2.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:08 AM EST
Spectacularj1
Hopefully they will get a nice respite before having to go to Afghanistan.
4 votes
#2.3 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:19 AM EST
Bluelake
Can we have a plane waiting to send all our war mongering politicians over there? All those whining that we are "giving up", cutting and running, all those stating that we will lose the results of our "hard work"? Let's have a few planes waiting to send them and their military age family members back to Iraq!! In the meantime thank you President Obama for being better at ending a war than starting one!!
1 vote
#2.4 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:51 AM EST
Jose Villa Lopez
I heard that we were keeping 16,000 troops there long term. Is that incorrect, or have we redefined troops to exclude those personnel?
1 vote
#3 - Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:53 PM EST
Mark-2446186
That is false. The only soldiers who will stay there are between 100 - 175 troops at the American embassy.
3 votes
#3.1 - Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:56 PM EST
Ralph-1933264
Embassy personnel, trainers, and private contractors.
1 vote
#3.2 - Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:58 PM EST
MSpielman
A few thousand troops are staying in reserve in Kuwait. If there's a real military emergency in Iraq, like Iran deciding to invade or something, we'll be there.
1 vote
#3.3 - Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:58 PM EST
karim3343
No, 175 troops will remain, but the problem is their are still 5000 private security contractors there. I think the number you are referring to is the 16,000 people working for the State Department at the embassy in Baghdad and consulates elsewhere in Iraq.
3 votes
#3.4 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:04 AM EST
Jose Villa Lopez
Oh. OK, thank you all for dispelling that misimpression.
1 vote
#3.5 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:07 AM EST
thinking now
The White House wanted to keep some troops there, but Iraq literally kicked us out and refused to negotiate the terms we wanted.
1 vote
#3.6 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:58 AM EST
kacz
A deal for several thousand U.S. troops to stay on as trainers fell apart over the sensitive issue of legal immunity and the US government would not sacrifice any of our troops to this. Can't blame Obama for not wanting our troops in harm's way for not knowing what kind of craziness would be thrown at them by Iraqi citizens. Best to get all the troops out of there like we're doing. The Marines left behind to guard the American Embassy will have enough to worry about.
#3.7 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:13 AM EST
karim3343
WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Now lets make sure this never happens again.
9 votes
#4 - Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:54 PM EST
MSpielman
Easy, stop electing Bushes.
You have to admit it's a pretty strong pattern.
2 votes
#4.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:08 AM EST
SkiDaBird
Yeah, someone realized what happens when extremists are elected. We need more moderates. And more time
#4.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:35 AM EST
3 Gold Bars
Obama has been every bit as bad as Bush. They're two sides of the same coin. Ron Paul 2012!
#4.3 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:03 AM EST
absolutelyright
There are still troops there- the war hasn't entirely ended... nor has the financial support
1 vote
#5 - Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:55 PM EST
Mark-2446186
There are NO troops still there, apart from about 100 to 175 troops at the American embassy. Sorry to disappoint.
2 votes
#5.1 - Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:57 PM EST
karim3343
Yea only 175 troops at the embassy. Apparently the number going around is 16,000 but that is the number of State Department employees working at the HUGE embassy in Iraq
1 vote
#5.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:25 AM EST
seadollar
Welcome home soldiers. Your the best. Your families are getting the best gift ever. You!!!!!
10 votes
#6 - Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:56 PM EST
solbro
The ending of the Halliburton War -another Bush mess cleaned up by Obama -
11 votes
#7 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:00 AM EST
Jose Villa Lopez
I agree, but what other Bush messes has Obama cleaned up?
1 vote
#7.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:08 AM EST
Mark-2446186
If you have to ask, it means you haven't done your homework. President Obama has reversed or repealed 142 major Bush directives in the last 3 years - and will be bringing 30,000 troops home from Afghanistan next year as the start of withdrawal. But seriously - please do your homework, and stop asking other people to educate you. It's a bit embarrassing for you that you don't know, considering you're on the Internet, don't you think?
4 votes
#7.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:14 AM EST
ToddF12
Oh yes, Obama and his Wall Street cabinet are just the best. He is only bringing home troops because his ratings are so slow right now and he is currently campaigning for a second term.
He just signed a bill into law today making it legal to detain Americans indefinitely and the only way they can freed is by his signature. Mark, are you ready to come home from Iraq and start rounding us up?
And as far as these 142 major Bush directives go, which ones exactly?? Gee, we still have the Patriot Act, Wall Street is still running buck wild, he's itching to go to war with Iran, already went to Libya and aided Al Quada (the so-called rebels) to take out Gahddafi on the "humanitarian aid" mission, Guantanamo is still open and can now detain you and I. What exactly has this man done besides bring you home that you actually think is good?
4 votes
#7.3 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:25 AM EST
meanest one
@Todd or Jose
I would like to ask you what I ask every President Obama detractor. To show objectivity and give relevance to ones argument, can you name one thing that you feel President Obama has done well.
I personally couldn't stand President Bush (Jr.... or Sr for that matter) but I can say that I applaud President Bush for the work he did fighting AIDS globally, especially in hard-hit Africa.
3 votes
#7.4 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:36 AM EST
Jose Villa Lopez
Mark, no, it's not really embarrassing. The other "messes" are not self-evident. First, just asserting that Obama repealed Bush directives in no way shows that those directives were "messes." Second, Afghanistan is not a Bush mess, unless you are suggesting that the action in response to 9/11 was ill-taken. Third, I don't think Obama has cleaned up any other Bush "messes," and that is why I asked the question. So, just what Bush directives that Obama "repealed" were messes. Just name 5, since you are so well versed, and explain why they constitute messes. Fourth, it is not I who suggests that Obama cleaned up other Bush messes, so I have no duty to research the truth of the claim. You, or Solbro, should do your own homework if you're going to make the claims.
4 votes
#7.5 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:44 AM EST
Jeremy-431970
Political bickering. Both of you grow up and do your own homework. Figure out the truth. Right now the system is decaying. Pure fact. Republican or Democrat, really makes no difference anymore. Middle class will become virtually extinct very soon.
1 vote
#7.6 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:53 AM EST
Warrior-3654214
Another with their closed-minded head in the sand.
#7.7 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:12 AM EST
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Mark-2446186
There are people here posting false information about troops still staying there.
Every last troop has left. It's over. Period. That's it.
The ONLY people who will be staying are only about 100 or 150 officials at the American embassy. That's IT.
Posting this because some people here appear to be misinformed.
The war is over. The SPENDING on the war - is OVER. President Obama has ended the Iraq War. It's over.
2 votes
#8 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:01 AM EST
Jeff J-2477031
Mark, you are the one who is misinformed. There are still military personnel (soldiers, troops..whatever you want to call them) in Iraq. To say there are none is false.
1 vote
#8.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:18 AM EST
toons222
HAHA Your delusional Mark if you think this is over.Take your head out of your (*)
3 votes
#8.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:27 AM EST
SeaBa
Mark, you keep posting contradictory statements all over this thread, yet trumpeting statements about the "uninformed masses". Seriously guy, go to bed.
4 votes
#8.3 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:38 AM EST
rust3r
I did some "internet research" because you seemed so adamant - like a dictator squashing other people for their ignorant posts.
When did you last do YOUR research?
It must be a bit embarassing for you after you read the multiple articles about 16,000 State Department workers going to Iraq, don't you think?
1 vote
#8.4 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:39 AM EST
meanest one
@rust
Would you be so kind as to share the source of your "internet research". Please, no home-made You_Tube videos though.
#8.5 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:47 AM EST
SPARTAN-501
Mark, I hope you're right. We'd all be screwed otherise.
#8.6 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:50 AM EST
culheath
Mark-2446186
That is false. The only soldiers who will stay there are between 100 - 175 troops at the American embassy.
Ralph-1933264
Embassy personnel, trainers, and private contractors.
Yeah, like 20,000 "contractors".
#9 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:01 AM EST
Mark-2446186
First you said 5,000. Now you're saying 20,000. Fascinating - considering the actual number of private contractors - who will be doing nothing but BUILDING THINGS - is actually 2,800, according the state department, CNN, and every other news outlet. Instead of taking stabs in the dark, please just look things up.
3 votes
#9.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:16 AM EST
oldman young eyes
Mark, the Iraqis have hired several " security " contractors. The estimated number of personnel is around 6,000. if you don't know what security personnel are, read up on mercenaries. There will be militery troops at all embassy sites in Iraq. Estimated total, at 4,000. The contractors who do the building and re-building, all have their own "security ", estimated at 2,000 to 3,000. it is also estimated that about 30,000 troops will stay in Quait, just in case. How long? Well, the war with Germany and Japan ended in 1945, and we still have troops stationed there. South Korea in I think 1953, and we still have troops there. So, in reality, we still have 42,000 fighting forces in iraq.
#9.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:14 AM EST
JonNotJohn
Welcome home and thank you!
Job well done.
2 votes
#10 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:02 AM EST
Michael KrugerVIA FACEBOOK
It would be nice if it could be said America learned a lesson from this experience....but alas, that is not the case. In fact, it appears the American people are eager to elect another neo-fascist to the white house as soon as possible. Well, the Bible cannot be proven wrong, it says very clearly that an evil people deserves and evil king. I think we can from this....the Obama presidency has been a case of God's mercy, not his wrath.
1 vote
#11 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:10 AM EST
Sax1031
As soon as possible?
We have a neo-facist in office right now.
#11.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:27 AM EST
Moderate man-3896602
The Bush administration and Maliki Government have agreed on a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces. The timetable would lead to the withdrawal of all American combat forces from Iraq by the end of 2011 and leave behind a residual force for training and support. All U.S. forces would be out of Iraqi cities by the middle of 2009. [Washington Post, 8/22/08]
#11.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:40 AM EST
duranteangel
Welcome home and God bless you all!
2 votes
#12 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:13 AM EST
expat7
Only took Obama 3 years and a veto by Iraq over immunity for troops for him to fulfill his promise.
Ron Paul, on the other hand, would have had troops out of Iraq within 3-6 months, and saved the lives of a lot of US troops that were tragically wasted. Would have pulled out of Afghanistan also which Obama has no plans of doing.
Go Ron Paul!
5 votes
#13 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:13 AM EST
Bluelake
Is there any way we can vote for Ron Paul's foreign policy ideas and NOT all the other crazy stuff he spouts? I must admit I tend to have a "love/hate" relationship with his positions.
1 vote
#13.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:59 AM EST
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hardbw
Thanks President Obama for bringing our brave soliders home its so easy to stay in a war that had become endless and taking our eye off who the real culprits of 9/11. It takes real courage to take a stand and learn lessons for the past. Believe it or not there are still people Like old grouch MCCAIN and a Presidential canidiate that will change his opinion every milisecond to fit what he thinks you want to hear in ROMNEY that still think we should have stayed another 9 years , spent billions more dollars and lost countless more lives of our military hero's
3 votes
#14 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:21 AM EST
Matt22V36_40
Excellent news. Good job getting them out, Obama. Thank you, troops, for your service.
3 votes
#15 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:22 AM EST
Moderate man-3896602
As a reminder, a little history...
The Bush administration and Maliki Government have agreed on a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces. The timetable would lead to the withdrawal of all American combat forces from Iraq by the end of 2011 and leave behind a residual force for training and support. All U.S. forces would be out of Iraqi cities by the middle of 2009. [Washington Post, 8/22/08]
#15.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:38 AM EST
SPARTAN-501
There were multiple "withdrawal dates" before that. What happened to those?
1 vote
#15.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:55 AM EST
Sax1031
One way flight to Afghanistan probably
I do want to thank the Iraqi government for telling the US government no in keeping troops there longer.
#16 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:23 AM EST
bepatient
This is all a media ruse.
There are still American soldiers in Iraq and more to replace them later.
Come on MSNBC and others, report don't distort.
1 vote
#17 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:28 AM EST
bigbenalaska
Obama is honoring Bush's agreement , good job Bush.......welcome home troops....Happy Holidays...
2 votes
#18 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:29 AM EST
bepatient
What are you going to say when another American soldier is killed in Iraq?
Why were you there?
#18.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:31 AM EST
bigbenalaska
Maybe you were born after 911......
#18.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:38 AM EST
Moderate man-3896602
Smack dab on Bush's timetable. Good deal!
#19 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:36 AM EST
Darrell-1928840
Yeah, but Obummer wants the credit for it! Of course the truth will be twisted until it was all Obummer's idea to get the troops out, hell he'll even say he flown the plane over to pick them up by the time he's done! Damn Marxists!
1 vote
#19.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:44 AM EST
Colorblind-2498596
Darrell...His name is President Obama to you. Regardless of how you feel about his policies, show some respect for the office. There seem to be a lot of people here that want to rain on their (the soldier's) parade. Get the piss out of your Cheerios and try to be happy for them. This is a great occasion and should be a celebration. There always has to be someone that poops on a party--or is that a party pooper. Oh, well. Why can't you be thankful that these brave men and women are out of harms way--at least for now. Get over yourselves and be happy for the families of these fine soldiers.
3 votes
#19.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:57 AM EST
joe jones
Did they remember to turn off the lights?
#20 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:38 AM EST
bigbenalaska
Did they ever have lights..??
#20.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:39 AM EST
Darrell-1928840
Don't worry, we'll be back. The war against Islam isn't over, they'll commit another act of terror here now that they have a place to regroup...but hey, we're out of Iraq, just in time for Iran! Either we fight Islam on their soil, or we'll be fighting them on our soil. Kill, enslave or convert! And lie about it until you're strong enough to accomplish it. That's Isalm!
1 vote
#21 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:41 AM EST
bigbenalaska
They can't stand each other in the middle east Darrell....you're right , won't be long and they'll be at it again........look at Egypt today....what a mess...
1 vote
#21.1 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:44 AM EST
meanest one
Darrell
Your comment is an outright disgrace. By far the most un-American comment on the thread tonight. We have Muslim-American men and women who serve in our Armed Forces to protect the rights of bigots to spew their islamaphobic hate behind the safety of their keyboards. You should be ashamed.
6 votes
#21.2 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:02 AM EST
Warrior-3654214
And it was a muzleem American who shot up Fort Hood and killed a lot of people. Probably not such a good idea having them in our military.
#21.3 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:06 AM EST
blahblah-2632236
Come on home!
1 vote
#22 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:42 AM EST
Minuteman81
Good, Im tired of going there anyways. Bring on Afghanistan and the big money!
#23 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:43 AM EST
JimS-459172
So who is going to find the WMDs?
1 vote
#24 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:58 AM EST
chuck-3392754
I give it less than a year and we will be back, Obama and his agenda to get votes. Playing with peoples lives and other countries for his wall trophies. Get what you can from this break, the next big war is on the table, guaranteed with this bunch of dictators who invest into death and destruction. Guess they can come home just in time to slaughter their own people too.. Go Occupy..
#25 - Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:59 AM EST
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