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March 26, 2017

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Out of Iraq

POSTED: October 24, 2011, 12:00 am

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We applaud the decision of President Obama to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. Our thoughts are with families that lost service members in this senseless conflict and we rejoice with families who are looking forward to a joyous homecoming with sons, daughters, mothers and fathers in uniform. The President’s decision was the right decision, and the only decision considering the enormous cost in lives and resources since the U.S. recklessly invaded Iraq.

Months before the invasion of Iraq, NorthStar News opposed what we charged was the Bush administration’s decision to start a war based on false pretenses. We never brought the “weapons of mass destruction” argument, and the record is clear on numerous television programs when we took exception to the manner in which President Bush was manipulating public opinion and shamelessly using the 9/11 tragedy to do so. In fact, we were one of the few voices at the time taking a very strong position against the Iraq invasion against the incessant flag waving of so-called patriots. It was not because we were so exceptionally smart, it was because the Bush administration could produce no hard evidence to support their claim and there were credible reports that the Hussein regime did not have WMDs or the capacity to produce and launch such weapons against their neighbors.

In an October 14, 2002 editorial titled “The Search for Osama Hussein” we stated:

“No amount of carping by conservative talking heads, Republican wannabe Presidents, or foolishly hawkish members of Congress can hide the fact that George W. Bush got us in this mess and not only cost American soldiers their lives but spent our nation into a hole.”

“Somewhere along the way Mr. Bush made a turn toward Iraq. It is still not clear why, but it quickly became evident that more than al Qaeda was driving the President to action. For months Mr. Bush began to assert that Iraq posed an imminent threat despite disagreement over the extent of the threat within his administration. Soon he began to infer that the terrorists and Iraq shared more than just hatred toward the United States. In time the President morphed the “enemy” and created Osama Hussein, the symbolic object of our anger, paranoia, and bewilderment toward a region, culture, and religion that we habitually misread and underestimate.”

We were right. The United States has spent a trillion dollars on a war that should have never been waged in the first place. President Obama was on the right side of this issue from the time of his tenure in the Senate to his run for the presidency in 2008. Make no mistake about that. This war can be traced back to the prior administration and a President that used a nation’s suffering for ulterior motives. No amount of carping by conservative talking heads, Republican wannabe Presidents, or foolishly hawkish members of Congress can hide the fact that George W. Bush got us in this mess and not only cost American soldiers their lives but spent our nation into a hole. War spending and tax cuts by the Bush administration are the very reason our nation is in deficit hell today and our economy is running on empty.

In this presidential campaign it is already clear that Republicans, and some in the media, are intent on denying President Obama any credit for right decisions made and for exhibiting real leadership, and not simply “playing to the crowd.” Our intent is to remind voters why our nation is in such a desperate state, who put us there, and who is working hard to get us out. Add the withdrawal of troops from Iraq as another example of how this President, with quiet confidence, determination and a refusal to worry about the “noise” inside the Beltway or over talk radio, made a decision in the best interest of our nation.

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