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Cary Brunswick

May 23, 2009

There's still time to end those wars

Memorial Days are never joyous times, for obvious reasons.

And this year, the occasion is especially dour for those of us who supported Barack Obama, not only for all the other reasons, but because we thought he was a peace candidate who would put an end to our misguided wars.

This week, the death toll for the U.S. military in Iraq reached nearly 4,300 since the invasion began in March 2003. While only about 65 have died since Obama took office, the violence of Iraqi against Iraqi has not subsided, spurred inevitably by our presence.

No matter whether we withdraw today or in two years, civil war or Iraqi military suppression will follow.

The president still plans to end our combat mission next year _ as promised during the campaign _ though two months later than he had proposed. But he also plans to leave 30,000 to 50,000 soldiers after the U.S. combat role supposedly ends.

If we have 40,000 troops in Iraq during a civil war or a suppression, how can we not be drawn into the fighting?

So far, it is difficult to notice much difference from the Bush-Cheney days. What could we expect, however, when Obama leaves Robert Gates in charge of defense.

OK, all our troops are supposed to out of Iraq by the end of 2011. You can imagine how many more troops and Iraqi civilians will be killed or maimed by then.

Why wait? In honor of Memorial Day, let's start bringing all of the soldiers home from Iraq now. The best way to honor the troops who have fallen in this and previous wars is to declare peace, to insist that the killing stop.

A campaign promise Obama is trying to fulfill, but shouldn't, is his so-called shifting focus to Afghanistan, which probably would be at peace now if Bush hadn't invaded Iraq.

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Cary Brunswick

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