Overheard on CNN.com: Iraq not ours to 'win'
CNN contributor William Bennett says President Obama's decision to withdraw troops from Iraq will probably lead to disaster.
October 26th, 2011
01:32 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Iraq not ours to 'win'

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

Obama is compromising Iraq

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.”

Open Thread: Talk about the news

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.

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Don Crawford

    Why doesn't anyone at CNN ask the Republican candidates their opinion on eliminating the Electorial College?
    Remember the fiasco when Gore won the majoiryt of the public vote only to be overrun by this outdated College, who are unduly influenced by the PACs and the rich state governors. And what about the report today that the Upper class
    increased their greed fund by 275%, to the Middle class, 40% and the lower classs, 18%. That should gall any
    fair-minded American.

    October 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Don Crawford

    The Special Committee Democrats are offering up hard put lconcessions, and the Repulicans are offering none.
    What they are saying, in effect is: we will accept your concessions but give you none of our own. In other words,
    "OUr way or now way! I hope the lAmerican public is paying attention. Major changes are needed in this lop-sided government. l

    October 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. s kel

    Major Changes getting rid of that right wing nazi congress and people like you. No more compermise thanks to these consertives only elimination.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Thank you, s kel. I totally agree as Iraq was never ours to take, let alone win!

      October 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Donald in CA

    The republicans started this Iraq war, now they are all having with drawal pains to see it end. Look at all the money dick cheneys old company haliburton will be losing each year with no war in Iraq. Folks better wake up.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. :-)

    Long over due !

    October 27, 2011 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. michaelfury


    October 27, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. unretired05

    He's fulfilling his promise.
    He's fulfilling Bush's promise.
    He's doing the right thing.
    What's the problem?

    October 27, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. rlowens

    Surely, no one thinks that withdrawal from Iraq means saving money on the military, do they? No, you wait, just around the corner, there will be another "crisis" that requires that we mobilize hundreds of thousands of troops and have them occupying some other foreign country for years. Why? Because, the military has nothing better to do and if they don't, they will get downsized – and, they will not let that happen. Too much money is at stake – and, they don't care how many lives it costs, either.

    October 27, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • MICKY

      WE get another Republican is office next year we will just be another war! Hate and fear are the motto of the Republicans!

      October 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MICKY

    Obama can't do or say say anything without the Party of 'NO' making some stupid remark! I am tired of these people! We need to vote their butts out of office next year!

    I sure hope some of these Republicans look at their candidates and if that is all they can offer, then I suspect Obama will be in office for his second term! Romney is the only one that seems to be sane! All the rest I believe are just 'Village Fools' we have to overlook!

    October 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Wrong MICKY, the only sane candidate in the running is Ron Paul from Texas. At least, he'll get us out of all these useless wars and do away with all this needless and excessive military spending which is currently ruining the national economy! I guess that, unfortunayely, most people are too ignorant to see that!!!

      October 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. s kel

    We need Obama to stay in office. He is the only one sane enough to keep the unemployed unemployed. His welfare programs are strong. His leadership in foreign affairs is unmatched. With the support of the senate, he can continue to promote programs that will led us to a socialist state like Europe. We need large government to maintain control of the masses. Unions are necessary to provide strong leadership. Hope this clears things up you teabaggers.

    October 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sandman

    The first Gulf War was we should have had. Get in, get the job done and leave. There was no reason to go back.

    October 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cog in the wheel

      I totally agree. While I rarely agreed with the first Bush on other matters, his handling of the first Gulf war was much wiser than his "shoot first think later" son's invasion of Iraq.

      October 31, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. HillClimber

    Agreed – war kills – a continuation of the human destruction by our forces of their people or destruction our forces by the Iraqi people lacks any degree of conscience. Remember Cindy Sheehan? Betcha' she is still asking what the noble cause was that George Walker Bush so proudly proclaimed without explanation for going into Iraq. Obama has disappointed us by saying he won't prosecute George Walker Bush for Bushes' crimes, but this American Citizen still demands that prosecution – and I demand it now!

    October 28, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marion

    The Daily Mail uk a source of real news from the US has a story about Muslim students taking to court a catholic university they attend because it is against their Human Rights,to hace roman catholic symbols in a Catholic University that disturbs their praying .
    Is America islamization their to own America. Send this news to stop the islamization of our culture, and values.

    October 29, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • StinkyStu

      We need to get rid of the overwhelming Christian influence first. All they do is attack the foundation of this country with their unsupported lies and ignorance.

      October 29, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
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