What have we learned?

Dec. 18, the last American troops pulled out of Iraq, and about 4,000 soldiers will stay in neighboring Kuwait to see what happens.

After eight-and-a half-years of war, 4,487 U.S. troops and another 318 from the U.K. and other allies have died there. Also lost: $800 billion from the U.S. Treasury, around 100,000 Iraqi lives, 4 million Iraqi refugees, and at leasst 31,000 Americans with physical and psychological injuries, many of whom will require long-term care.

What have we learned?

Back in March of 2003, I demonstrated along with a handful of Rockford-area residents, mostly senior citizens, warning that we should not get involved militarily. Ours was a distinctly minority view. Some passing motorists gave us thumbs up while others yelled and flipped us off. President Bush and the Congress paid no heed.

We who advocate for peace, diplomacy and forbearance are relieved about the end of the Iraq war and hope it truly is the end.

But we are still embroiled in the Afghanistan conflict, where most observers give us no chance to win. How much longer does this have to go on? What price do we have to pay before we retreat again? The current totals are 1,859 dead and $487 billion.

What have we learned?

Loren Floto
Rockton, Ill.

From the Jan. 4-10, 2012, issue

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