Comment of the morning:
“We got bamboozled and stampeded into this war and where’s the lasting gain from the sacrifice made in blood and $3 trillion in public debt?” – Rover2594
William J. Bennett, a CNN contributor, author, former U.S. secretary of education and former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, says President Obama is making a mistake by withdrawing nearly all troops from Iraq. Suggesting that the president’s decision is politically motivated, he points to U.S. generals’ wishes to have at least 15,000 troops remain in the country.
But CNN.com readers overwhelmingly disagreed with Bennett. Most readers said that withdrawal is long overdue and that attempting to block Iranian influence seems to be putting off the inevitable. Based on readers' feedback, it’s clear that Americans are ready for the troops in Iraq to come home.
Duckyducky said, “The only reason these people are so upset is because President Obama is doing what Bush couldn't. And a lot of them are also upset because money will stop flowing to their corporate buddies for all those military contracts. They would rather see our military die and continue to funnel that money to the defense companies then bring them home. Shame, shame, shame.”
Moorbo responded, “I would add that this is another Republican that will cheer cutting welfare programs for U.S. citizens in the name of fiscal responsibility, but get upset about cutting this massive portion of our budget for this war that is providing security for people who are not U.S. citizens.
If the majority of Iraq is pro Iran who are we to tell them otherwise? Shall we keep soldiers there to intimidate Iraqis into not liking Iran? I wonder how that would influence their opinion of the U.S.”
GeneralDavis responded. “Got to keep the war factories humming. The next-generation drones - a quarter billion dollars each! - and the cool trillion we'll spend on the F-35 fighters - and that's before the usual 300 percent cost overruns.”
cger61 said, “I really hate to write this, because I am conservative and also a retired military person. We absolutely could not leave our military personnel in Iraq without a Status of Force agreement that would protect our military members from prosecution in Iraqi courts. The embassy military personnel are probably covered by diplomatic immunity. This was not a political issue; it was the right thing to do.”
kscottg1 said, “Bill, I visited quite a few of the forward operating bases in Iraq while there. I don't remember seeing you anywhere around. You must have been out on patrol, right? Who are you to sit back in the lap of luxury and attempt to show why we need to stay in Iraq by referencing our service members who lost their lives there? How many friends have you lost in Iraq? How many friends do you have standing by for another year-long deployment? What are the chances you'll ever find yourself getting mortared in the middle of the night in the Middle East? I served as an Infantryman for 8 years, and have done the last six as an AH-64D pilot.”
PolluxTroy responded, “Hey salt dog, just because a few mortars landing seven clicks from you while you were a FOBit doesn't mean your position is any more logical. I'll tell you one thing, if my buddies who died on both tours I did as a USMC grunt knew that the possibility of every good thing America did in Iraq would pretty much get negated, they would roll in their graves.”
Megaphone said, “I guess Bill hasn't been paying attention and doesn't realize that we've been screaming to get out of Iraq for years now. Bill's problem, just like General Hayden, is that he wants our military to be in these places forever. It's the old Cold War mentality of putting our troops all over the world so that we influence everything that goes on. In his view, any withdrawal from any of these places will reduce our ability to control the actions of other nations.”
Guest said, “What you conveniently left out, Mr. Bennett, is not only the fact that this withdrawal was negotiated by the Bush Administration, but also the fact that our troops would not be guaranteed immunity from prosecution even if they were following orders from above. And you're right, almost 5,000 of our brave men and women will have died in vain should Iraq fall into the wrong hands, which is something that is going to happen anyway, but that's not on President Obama, that's on President Bush because we never should have been there in the first place.”
intermtn said, “Thank goodness someone is going to get us out of the mess we created.”
jcgaunet said, “Obama surprised us with his abrupt announcement to bring home the troops to deflect us from the fact that his Jobs Bill is a total flop. It was political maneuvering, plain and simple. Only 160 left in Iraq? Hard to imagine what good that could come to.”
talshar said, “Obama does ONE thing, ‘campaign for office.’ And end the wars Republicans start. And topple dictators. And eliminate terrorists. And save the American auto industry. And prevent a second Great Depression.”
Sjmfury responded, “Don't forget. Bailed out Foreign Banks, tailored to Wall Street elite, started a war in Libya, destroyed Healthcare and lowered the price of the dollar. Get the **** out of Iraq.”
Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below, or sound off on video
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.