.
January 11th, 2008
02:40 PM ET

Changing opinions on Iraq?

ALT TEXT

Baghdad, Iraq (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Some encouraging news coming out of Iraq, exactly one year since President Bush ordered an extra 30-thousand troops there as part of the so-called "surge."

A U.S. general says that the country's western province of Anbar, which had been a hotbed for Sunni insurgents, will be returned to Iraqi control in March.

He says it's time for the handover because levels of violence have dropped significantly and Iraqi security forces are now capable of taking over.

So far, 9 out of 18 provinces are back under Iraqi control. It's a process that's gone slower than what the Bush administration had initially hoped for, mainly due to the challenge of getting the Iraqi police and army strong enough.

Even though Anbar province will return to Iraqi control, U.S. forces will still stay there as partners with Iraq's security forces. Nevertheless, it's a positive sign when you consider that as recently as 18 months ago, Anbar was the stronghold of al Qaeda in Iraq.

And there are other positive signs: the number of U.S. casualties has been declining for months. In December, 23 troops were killed, that's compared to a death toll of 112 in December 2006. This isn't to say we're out of the woods yet: 9 U.S. troops lost their lives in just two days this week.

While there have been military successes, progress on the Iraqi political front has been slow to non-existent.

The progress being reported in Iraq may be responsible for this: While an overwhelming majority of Americans remain opposed to the war, it is no longer the number issue on people's minds. It has been replaced by the economy.

Here’s my question to you: Has your opinion of the war in Iraq changed?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Serena writes:
There were more troops killed in Iraq last year than any other. One blip and things are suddenly better due to the troop surge? How gullible do you think we are? The whole war has been smoke and mirrors except for the steady flow of dead and wounded. The Iraqi people are slowly being executed along the way.

Dot writes:
My opinion has not changed one iota! The war was unnecessary, empiricist, immoral, ill-conceived and ill-implemented. If the do-nothing Congress cannot bring themselves to impeach this president and vice-president, then I hope someone will have the guts to bring criminal charges for crimes against humanity and crimes against citizens of the U.S.

William writes:
Jack, No, my mind has not changed on Iraq. I was against it from the start and still am. We were led into this war through lies and deceit. No matter how well the war may be going it doesn't make it right, just or moral.

Garrick from Atlanta, Georgia writes:
At the end of the day, the Iraqis are not going to live and play nicely with one another whether U.S. troops are there or not. I'm still disheartened that Americans are giving their lives for a cause that Iraqis do not even embrace. It's disgraceful. Each additional day US combat troops are in Iraq, I become more disappointed in the leadership in Washington.

George from Kansas City, Missouri writes:
No. The Iraq war and our economic state are most definitely linked. If we are spending one trillion dollars on a war we don't need to fight, it's poor economics. Plain and simple.


Filed under: War in Iraq
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Terry

    Jack
    Apparently the media is so wrapped up in the presidential campaign they have forgotten Iraq. Our military is still in harms way people are still dying and I dont believe anything has changed regardless of what these fools in our present administration are preaching. My opinion has not changed get our troops out of there. Leave these people to resolve their own issues.

    January 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  2. Jim Kelton

    Jack, No not at all. I can not think of one good reason that another American soldier or marine should die there.

    January 11, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  3. Scott

    no Jack, it was wrong then and it's wrong now. the money spent on this war could have completely paid for all the necessary infrastructure , the crop's, the fuel factories, the change over to and distribution of said soulution. even the postage for the letter's informing Asian & south American oil nations to stick their crude were it's to crude to say.
    Scott Missouri

    January 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  4. Scott

    No – It was wrong then – it is wrong now – Just because our military has done a great job of the task put before them and it is quiter now – The Iraqi government is not stepping up so we should be stepping out

    January 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  5. Alex

    As a McCain supporter for 8 years dating back to 2000, I thought that Iraq was the right move. My opinion on the war at first was skeptical, but has remained firm due to the surge. Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups interpret the Koran literally in the Book of the Sword, and the Book of the Apostates, which state that anyone who does not worship Allah is subject to the sword, or death. They interpret that literally. And because America is the most religiously diverse and tolerant nation on the face of this globe, we are the only country strong enough to stand up to them and prevent their perfect utopia of a world where everyone worships Allah and the religion of Islam. We will never surrender under a McCain administration and we will win this war, and once again prove that the power of freedom is the strongest force on earth.

    January 11, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  6. Ed Reed

    No. Although we are all thankful that the reduction violence, it remains at 2005 levels. This unnecessary war remains a mistake and history will judge it as the United State's greatest foreign policy blunder.

    January 11, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  7. ken

    Jack; NO!!! american soldiers are still dying and the Iraq government is still unwilling to do what is necessary to make things right!! There will never be a proper outcome for this crime against humanity that was committed for the benefit of big oil and the crusade of the ideological neo-cons !!!

    January 11, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  8. Allen L Wenger

    Well Jack, I still think the President and Vice President pushed us into this war with lies and misrepresentations. I think the Iraqi people have had their infrustructure and living conditions down graded substancially because of the war. I still think there were over 3900 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed needlessly. I think there will probably be a civil war when we leave, be it in one year or twenty years. I still think we have squandered enough money in this war to fund universal health care for our citizens. I guess my answer is, "No".

    January 11, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  9. Glen Rock

    I don't think it is a matter of opinion that the war was based on a lie. Our administration made the case for war using the threat of WMD's even though their own intelligence told them the evidence was not there. Still, many Americans (like Mrs. Clinton) who are now against the war, chose to believe the Administration. They thought Saddam was evil enough that it justified war. We need to stop looking for "progress" and get out of Iraq. In the end, we can not bulldoze our way into a country and solve their problems. And we all need to be more skeptical about what our Administration wants us to believe.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  10. Ginger

    I almost fell over yesterday when I heard Bush call for ending occupation in Middle East lands!!! I thought he was referring to US, not Israel.
    Once again- blaring hypocrisy!
    My feelings have not changed about this war, the surge has not worked and I do not want to be there for a hundred years for crying out loud.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  11. SFC Z

    My opinion has not changed nor will it change. There was never a "Causus belli" for invading Iraq, unless of course, you consider the fact that Saddam was a butthead to be a valid reason for going to war. There are no WMD. Al Qaeda was not in Iraq until Preident Shrub got all power giddy. Then once the decision to invade was made our commander in chief and defense secretary would not provide enough troops to "keep the peace." How this administration has survived without impeachment befuddles me. I can only surmise it is Nancy Pelosi's incompetence. I'll be very curious to see if either Bush or Cheney has to stand before a war crimes court.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  12. Allan

    No it was a stupid move from the start, both Afganistan and Iraq. Why not just go in and get Obama, we didn't have to destroy both countries. It was clear from the start that finishing the job his dad didn't would be the top priority of this Administration, Oil may have been secondary. It was all ego driven.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  13. Peter

    A thousand no's........Iraq was a mistake from the get go, and it is still a mistake. Threat to American security my butt......How is it possible to pull the wool over the eyes of so many, are we as American citizens that stupid?

    January 11, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  14. T. Burns / New York

    Jack,

    You must be kidding. We're borrowing $50 million per day to finance this Iraq fiasco. Now your asking the question, has my opinon changed from Iraq to the economy. Lets connect the dots, it's called finance 101!!! Hello!

    January 11, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  15. John

    No, my opinion hasn't changed. It doesn't matter if we leave in 2009, 2013, or 2100. Once the US leaves Iraq and Afghanistan their US backed governments will fall.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  16. Patricia

    Nope!!! I always thought it was a mistake. It has become a disaster. But, it is NOT the military's fault!!! IT IS GEORGE BUSH'S & DICK CHENEY'S & DONALD RUMSFELD'S FAULT!!!

    January 11, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  17. Ralph

    Jack, I still believe the war is wasting money and the lives of so many of our troops. If our government is so concerned about fighting terrorism and helping to set the atmosphere in the directions of peace between Israel as well as Palestine and her Arab neighbors, then we should leave Iraq where we are bogged down and accomplishing nothing. When we look at Syria, Iran and other coiuntries supporting Islamic militants and terrorism, we know there are other areas where a show of force by our troops will make a difference.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  18. Rich Kaminski, McKinney Texas

    Jack no one ever said Democracy was easy, cheap or that it would not come at a price in the number of deaths in Iraq. Americans are still wondering why we ever went there in the first place. A lot of innocent people have been killed in this Western imposed process. I mean how many emails did you get from Iraqi's prior to the U.S. Invasion saying come help us build a Democracy? I didn't get even one, ever. I am grateful that the U.S. Death Toll is down but other then that I see no long term benefits for America out of all this. Terrorists will still exist all over the world irregardless of Iraq having a Democracy.
    At the current Death toll of over 85 Thousand innocent Iraqis killed that had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11 to the 24 Thousand Insurgents killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since this war began that is a return of about 4 to 1 and considering that those 85 Thousand innocent Men, Women and children killed were not Americans or terrorists but Iraqi's, it makes one wonder how America can justify killing so many people that had nothing to do with an attack on America. Something just isn't right in all of this. Would America stand for an Invasion by Iraq onto our soil killing over 85 Thousand innocent Men Women and children in American. I don't think so. How can any sane and rational person call that a success?

    January 11, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  19. suzie from Atlanta, GA

    While I am happy US casualty numbers are down, I am still not convinced that this has much to do with the ability of the Iraqi Government, such as it is, to stand up and take back control.
    I have a close friend who's husband is on his second tour. He is stationed North of Baghdad, where it is still very dangerous. He was supposed to come home on leave next month to see his wife and two small kids, but this has been cancelled, and his tour extended indefinitely. That doesn't sound like things are really better. If they have to cancel leaves, and extend tours, the basic problems still exist:

    a military stretched too thin, with no other people left to send if they don't want to strip the other Military Posts both here and abroad completely. How is that changed the situation?
    Until the Iraqi Government can manage it's own affairs then nothing has changed. The issue is NOT where the fighting moves to at any given time, but why we are policing a civil war, which is a loose/loose for us AND Iraq. We still need to get out ASAP.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  20. Cathy Norem

    My opinion on the conflict has only gotten stronger against this fiasco. We need to pull out as quickly and as safely as possible so that not one more life is lost. Bush accomplished what he wanted, to overthrow the government and get rid of the man who embarassed his Father. Unfortunately, thousands of lives, both American and Iraqii have been sacrificed for his selfish vendetta. Our troops need to come home to begin to rebuild their lives and their families. I have three nepews, two are currently serving their second tour in Iraq, the third is going back for his third. Fortunately, only one has been injured, mended and returned to his unit. When they write home, they tell us that what the government is telling the citizens of this country is not the truth about what is happening there and that the majjority of troops want to come home. They see no reason to still be there. Why doesn't someone listen to them? How many more lives have to be lost and how many families broken up because of Bush's selfishness, arrogance, and unfeeling war mongering?

    January 11, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  21. Zac Fermanis

    Military success is great, but this article only helps prove the argument that we should never have gone into Iraq in the first place. In a nutshell, this is how I view this new report: "The more provinces in Iraq that we leave – the more peaceful Iraq is". What natural conclusion does this lead to?
    So, to answer your question – no. My opinion has not changed. My opinion only changed when I went from a "loyal-bushy" to a wholehearted Ron Paul supporter. He's the only candidate who has logical, history-tested solutions to not only the middle east, but also, as you point out, the more important issue – our faltering economy.
    Thank you.

    Zac F.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  22. Sushma

    Jack, people are worried about the economy more than the war because, the economic stress has been in part because of the war. At this point, it's stagnant, and since it's been in the news for so many years, it's importance is overlooked.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  23. Brian Nancoo - Trinidad

    The manner in which the Iraq war has evolved has worsened the stability of that entire region. The thugs have taken control and the West is starting to simply accept that situation. The West's focus is shifting to the enormous amounts of money to be made selling weapons/infrastructure/technology to all the countries in that region, for both offensive and defensive purposes. There is a waning interest in the original reason for the Iraq War, the elimination of the thuggish dictatorships that abound in the region.This is a 100 year war now.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  24. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,
    Not at all, the war was an erroneous evil act against the people of Iraq from the start and it still is sinister. Our country has wasted a vast amount of money and resources in this bottomless pit for what, oil...

    January 11, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  25. Alan

    Jack,

    I fought in Vietnam with the US Army's 5th Special Forces Group. The war in Iraq was wrong to begin with & it's wrong now. It's not about the military successes or the bravery of our warriors, it's about the lies & deception fostered upon our country by a bunch of lying, draft dodging cowards who didn't have the guts to put their own butts on the line in Vietnam. Our country was so outraged by the 9/11 attacks that we swallowed all their horse puckey hook, line & sinker. Now we will have to pay the full price of their lies.

    Our war was & is in Afghanistan. That's where we were attacked from on 9/11 by Al-Quida & their Taliban sponsors.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  26. Ryan Farrar

    has the economy really replaced Iraq as the number one issue, or are they really the same issue? Our economy is in the dumps precisely because of the billions of dollars lost in this mess. McCain can talk about the surge working all he likes (and I'm sure he will), but the only way to fix the economy is to get out of Iraq. It seems to me that Ron Paul is the only true fiscal conservative in the race, because he is the only candidate who realizes that; and also realizes what an atrocious waste of money another war happens to be: the war on drugs.... or should we just call it what it is: the war on poor people and their civil liberties. Vote Paul if you really want change.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  27. Greg from PA

    The level of violence and number of casualties have only receded to pre-surge levels and genocide and mass emigration to Syria and other neighboring countries probably account for a good part of that reduction. The influence Iran and Al Qaida have grown. The Maliki government is corrupt and is blocking reconciliation, oil revenue sharing and most of the goals that Bush used to justify the surge. While Sunnis are cooperating with our troops to fight against Al Qaida, once their neighborhoods are secure they intend to used the arms we have provided to fight the Shiite government. Bush may redefine this a success, but I don't.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  28. Adam

    My opinion of the "war" has not changed. As you admit, US security forces will stay in Anbar province even after Iraqis retake control of it. This slow transition is nothing more than a mirage, the US is unjustly occupying Iraq and will continue to do so for generations. This will continue even after we have "given back control to Iraqis", to make sure that our corporations get the 70% of oil revenues they were promised at the beginning of this "war". Hence the 100 year McCain doctrine.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  29. Ron Ne

    Jack, I wondered from the very first! How can a country that has been destroying weapons under the eye of the UN for so long , be a threat to anyone? Anyone in their right mind has to know this war was unnecessary! But the almighty congress followed Bush off the preverbal cliff and even now the Republican candidates for President are still following his game plan!

    Honestly Jack, this country has lost it's way and I don't know if it will ever find it's way back from what this Administration has done!

    January 11, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  30. Greg from PA

    The level of violence and number of casualties have only receded to pre-surge levels and genocide and mass emigration to Syria and other neighboring countries probably account for a good part of that reduction. The influence Iran and Al Qaida have grown. The Maliki government is corrupt and is blocking reconciliation, oil revenue sharing and most of the goals that Bush used to justify the surge. While Sunnis are cooperating with our troops to fight against Al Qaida, once their neighborhoods are secure they intend to use the arms we have provided to fight the Shiite government. Bush may redefine this a success, but I don't.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  31. Hannah

    Have we found any WMD yet? Are our soldiers still dying there? Then no.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  32. Minda

    Because our military is the best trained in the world, if you add more troops of course you will get better security. The troop additions should have been added much earlier, the expense of this unnecessary war has been too costly. The war profiters have made billions and just what do we have to show for it but a country in ruins, a reputation tarnished, our military weakened and a deficit our grandchildren will still be paying for when they have children. We need to find solutions that do not include destroying countries. This war has been by all measures a disaster. That fact is undisputed. The consequences of our actions will be felt for generations no matter what the final outcome, it is obvious we have made a terrible mistake. May God forgive us.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  33. douglas gengler

    no...... what is the magic number prior to leaving iraq, 5000 dead military or 1 trillion dollars spent or one republican president out of office!

    January 11, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  34. Andrew Leibfried

    Well Jack, let me think...No WMD's were ever found, Al Qaeda didn't exist in Iraq until we invaded, and there was no link between Iraq and the attack on 9/11. It seems we forget that the reasons that we went to war were all completely false, so my opinion remains the same: we are not very smart.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  35. Ceee

    A brief military respite does not negate the long term waste of lives and resources. We will be in debt for decades because Iraq. Have you traveled abroad lately? The Euro is worth 1.48 American dollars largely because we are in debt up to our eyeballs. And we are in debt largely because of this monumentally stupid war. Think of the lost opportunities to reallocate trillions for infrastucture, for education, for health care.
    Consider also the human element. 150,000 Iraqiis dead; millions more displaced; nearly 4000 our own servicemen and women gone; their families grieving; thousands of our military wounded and facing a difficult life. No weapons of mass destruction found. AlQuaeda still on the loose in Afghanistan. No, my opinion is the same. Invading Iraq was a stragegic blunder of enormous proportions.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  36. Karl

    Let's see now, nearly 4000 dead troops, over 25,000 injured, many beyond real repair and over a trillion dollars with no end in site. This is all based on lies from greedy capitalists that knew it was a lie and mismanaged by incompetent idiots who didn't have a plan A much less a plan B. Throw in an Iraqi "government" that has done nothing but suck up billions of dollars and take two month vacations. Our economy is in the sewer, thanks to the war mongers, and no over site of anything by anybody. I can't say my opinion has changed.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  37. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    No Jack,

    Our soldiers are doing their job but the Iraqi government is NOT, it's been a year.

    When is our lame President and gutless Congress going to step up and demand results from the Iraqi "government" that is draining us dry financially, and at the higher cost of our soldiers' lives?

    January 11, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  38. Dennis in Gwinn, MI

    Yes, I support it now...we are going to be there at least as long as we have been in Korea, Japan, and Germany. This is only partly about WMDs and Saddam.It is about outflanking China, Russia and keeping the oil lanes open....and, of course protecting our greatest friend in the area, Israel. Just look at a map.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  39. Bizz

    I felt the Iraq war was a mistake when it first happened and I still feel that way. I don't think the governing body that is in place in Iraq is strong enough to keep the peace. I think as soon as we have any substantial reductions in our troops everything will collapse and war will break out between the different religious groups until one of them defeats the other. The only thing that was preventing this from happening was Hussein and now that we got rid of that obstacle for them there is nothing that can stop it. I think this war will the down in history as one of the biggest mistakes any president ever made.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  40. Josh

    No, I still believe that the Iraq war was illegal, immoral and an waste of money and American Lives. This war has been an disaster from Day One since it was poorly planned and noone even bothered to get real intellence on Iraq before it got off the ground. End this stupid and senseless war in Iraq now, bring the troops home, impeach Bush and Cheney. Turn them both over to the international court so they can punished for starting this illegal war. Anyone who thinks this war in Iraq needs to have their heads examined.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  41. BigDaddyJ

    No I haven't changed my opinion at all. This war was about oil. Bush will keep our troops there to protect Exxon's 40 BILLION dollar per year profits. Spending a TRILLION dollars of our tax dollars to do so. Is this the New math?

    January 11, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  42. Jenny from New York

    No. The justification for the surge has changed. It was supposed to allow for political progress to be able to be accomplished. There were 18 benchmarks set by the Iraqi govt. which almost none of have been met. There were no al Qaeda in Iraq before we invaded. There were also no dead U.S. troops. We took our eye off the ball and are now bragging about getting rid of many al Qaeda members we either let into Iraq or created by entering Iraq? My opinion is the same now as it was in 2002-we should've never invaded Iraq.

    January 11, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  43. howard williams-gig--

    jack–the blogers seem to be 100% against the invasion of iraq??? this is a reason the election in 2008–will be a landslide for the dems–as for those who think awol bush was right to invade–my answer to them is this–go get you a pair of boots and a rifle–bush's war will last a 1000 years so volunteer republicans will have time to go–that is if they are not like bush and cheney–just to yellow to go and is a bush war "sissy"????? gig williams iowa

    January 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  44. john

    No, my opinion hasn't changed.. Bush used the false pretense of WMD to start a war in Iraq. As far as I am concerned Bush killed more Americans than did the airplanes on 9-11. Bush retorts we are fighting them over there, I suggest he used our troops as bait in Iraq.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  45. john

    No, my opinion hasn't changed.. Bush used the false pretense of WMD to start a war in Iraq. As far as I am concerned Bush killed more Americans than did the airplanes on 9-11. Bush retorts we are fighting them over there, I suggest he used our troops as bait in Iraq.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  46. Jeff

    Help me understand something...is it a war in Iraq or a staging ground for a war in Iran?

    January 11, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  47. edwin b

    The reason we were to go to war was to get Al Qaeda's leader" Bin Laden", and quess what we haven't. This administraion want go after him.
    Though we've (I'm referring to the american public)been lied too,our countries administraion has committed war crimes and has had a wreckless disreguard to the constitution and the amercian public wants & needs,and misleading the courts & losing files. This administration is still in office. We have a congress that can be bought,manipulated and has no backbone.
    The public spoke in the mid-term elections and our elected officials haven't heard a word. We asked for the troops to come home,beef up the borders & port security,and accountiablity for the adminstrations action.NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE.
    Bin Laden is still free,Bush and his adminstration is still in office,the borders & ports are not secured,our troops are not home or going after the person the congress allicated funds to get.
    We are in a ression,were told more lies in that our economy is strong.
    What the hell is congress doing for us: NOT A F*#&ing THING.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  48. John

    NO. Because I am perfectly capable of thinking about two subject at almost the same time. Economy or Iraq.
    John
    Tulsa Oklahoma

    January 11, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  49. Doreen

    Absolutely not - we have economic problems largely due to the war in Iraq. We need to get out of there. And, the Iraqi government needs to get their act together so that they can rule their own country - as they claim to want to do. Doesn't look that way though, does it?

    January 11, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  50. Brian Davis, Delray Beach FL

    If I do something I feel is morally wrong, my opinion of myself doesnt change just because I might be doing it really well.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  51. Reggie Keene

    No sir I have always been against it and always will be

    January 11, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  52. Erik Viker

    A reasoned departure from Iraq is not "surrender to the enemy" or "cutting and running." The time for prideful slogans and stubbornness has past. The time for spin and propaganda has passed. Our work there is finished, and it's time for America to come home.

    Even if some tentative stability has been achieved in parts of Iraq due to the so-called surge, it has simply led to a reduced number of needless American military deaths every month. Our people are still dying daily. Why are we still there? We have accomplished every often-changing goal put forth by this administration: ensured there are no Iraqi WMDs aimed at America, removed the tyrant, and supervised elections for a new government in Iraq. Let's contact our legislators and press our Presidential candidates to bring our military heroes home. We can send the Iraqi government transition funding equal to half the cost of running an occupation there for the next year, and have no more Americans dying in Iraq.

    If the Iraqi government cannot hold the nation together without a massive American military presence, then perhaps there should be no Iraq. Let the people there fight among themselves and sort out the borders of a few new smaller countries. If Iran or another nation takes over Iraq, so be it. After fifty years of meddling, the best thing we can do is get out of the Middle East. We have an excellent intelligence corps and we'll know if we are targeted by a real threat, and the next 400 billion dollars we spend can buy much security here at home. If credible intelligence says somebody is pointing a weapon our way, then we should respond, but not until then. We can stop telling sovereign nations how they can defend themselves and power their country, even those with whom we have nothing in common, even those who make anti-American noise.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  53. Paul Mason

    No, my opinion of the war in Iraq has not changed. The purpose of the surge was to provide breathing space for political compromise among the Iraqis. With no political settlement in sight, we are no nearer to an exit strategy than one year ago. Thank God, casualties among American soldiers have decreased, but we could eliminate them altogether by withdrawing our troops.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  54. Mark from Michigan

    I've been opposed to the way the war was waged by Rumsfeld and Bush. It should have been way easier than it has been. Ask most soliders there, and they still think they can win. With progress from the surge, you can't help but want to bring those soldiers home with honor. Yes, my opinion has changed-and I want them to win and SOON. America needs the 'w' in our column...and so does Iraq and the Middle East.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  55. Neil

    Jack, I believe the war in Iraq is as pointless now as it was when it started. It went from dumb to dumber, just like our president.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  56. teddy blankenship

    Jack,
    this is all a joke right? Doesnt anyone remember why we got in this war to begin with? It was all based on lies. So let me get this straight, we are winning a war that was never suppose to be a war in the first place and was in no way about to harm us. Wow what a relief!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  57. Brett

    I'm still trying to figure out how George W. called for a surge in a war that is over. Anyways, the truth is that, there never was a military war in Iraq. If anything it was a cultural/political war. And last time i checked they still hate their neighboring religions, ethnic groups, and cultures. This country is bound for civil war, that is unless we keep a military base there. Doesn't that sound wonderful.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  58. Charles Clines

    My opinion of the war has not changed since before we invaded the country. It was a misguided war, and now it's become extremely costly in lives and money, and nothing has been solved. No doubt, violence will be abated by the number of troops on the ground. You also could cut crime in the U.S. by having police on each corner. But when they leave, the violence and crime will return if there is no Iraqi government able to control the country.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  59. James

    No, my opinion remains the same.

    We're locked in an unconstitutional conflict, sent their by a hypocritical administration. From what I'm hearing we're on track for one of the worst years yet, perhaps even a return to PRE-surge violence levels. Boy, doesn't that sound successful?

    January 11, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  60. Lisa

    Sure hasn't changed my mind on it. When are the Goofballs running for President going to at they KNEW Alqueda wasn't in Iraq before we went in there...says a lot for their integrity.
    Lisa

    January 11, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  61. Greg Snider

    Changed opinion on the war in Iraq? No. We need to get out of the region and secure our borders. There has been unrest in the region for decades and we are not going to change that in one hundred or one thousand years. Why has the immigration issue fallen to the back burner?

    January 11, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  62. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    No Jack,the opinion of the war hasn't changed. The economy is now the victim instead of just our moral and ethical standing. Maybe now we'll end this fiasco.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  63. vince nizzardi

    No! Jack I still believe we are doing the right thing for the long haul. Many years from now, President Bush, who most Americans do not have much trust in , Will be recignized for his tough decisions, and the long term benefits, which resulted.
    .Because of the sacrifice our solders are making, and the investment money we are spending there now, that region, has been thrust forward from biblical times, to modern day exposure, and vision, as to how the rest of the world now lives , and the real possibilities for every one., especially furthering womens rights.
    This will have a long term affect on the cultural development of the Iraq people, and ultimately the rest of the nations in that area, change how they look at things, advance democracy in that region, and produce a good partner , there where we really need one. By the example of our soilders, they are getting to know we are a
    decent people, and are there to assist them to a better life.
    We live in a society where people want to see results now, and manny are short sighted, with no long term vision, but ultimately, our efforts now, will help insure a safer tomorrow for our children, and future generations of Americans.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  64. Donny Screws

    Has my opinion changed on the Iraq war?
    NO. It doesn't matter whether things are going "well" or whatever: the whole thing was started over a lie. It's like picking a fight with someone and finding out you were wrong in accusing him. But hey, that doesn't matter! You're winning!
    We are there because of lies. Almost 4000 Americans and many others are dead because of lies. THAT should be the biggest story of the decade.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  65. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Iraq was a grave mistake from the start. The war is just a scam to make bush and cheney's friends richer with no accountability. We are all now paying for it with recession,bankruptcy and a looming depression.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  66. Mike, AZ

    Jack,
    I am and was in support of the troop "surge" from the very beginning. The fact that Americans are more concerned with the economy is an indicator of how well the war in Iraq is going. It is just too bad that the troop surge was not implemented from day 1. Just imagine where we would be today.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  67. Len

    No Jack,

    We have destroyed millions of lives due to this "Illegal War". Our administration promoted this war through falsehoods. 115,000 Irag's have died in a three year period (Reported on January 10, 2008–Associated Press), 2 million Irag's have been displaced, destroyed their infrastucture, created Ethnic cleansing (before the invasion–Sunni's and Shiite's lived together in the same neighborhoods), proven there were no Al Queda in Irag until we opened the borders to insurgents, and have lost 3,900 American brave men and women to a uintruthful war.
    Our Constitution is based on Truth and Justice. This war has destroyed that important concept.
    No, Jack, No.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  68. Mark McIntyre

    It's not a war, it's an occupation. And my thoughts about that have never changed.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  69. Johnny

    Has my opinion changed? You bet. I'm angrier than ever before. As we realistically look at the predicament that Bush has put us in, I realize even more today the careless way thousands of American lives were thrown away. We'll unfortunately be involved not in a burgeoning democracy but the catalyst for increasing Middle East unrest. How sad that we wage success by the number of Iraqi and American citizens NOT killed rather than the number of Americans coming home.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  70. JoAnn Poutre

    The war in Iraq was wrong from the start-the fact that we are now losing fewer service men does not change that fact. That is no consolation at all to the families, if they lose their loved one in this war. My opinion has not changed. The economy is running a close second-but the war is still my biggest concern-it is one of the reasons our economy is in trouble. JoAnn

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  71. jenny

    No my opinion hasn't changed. I just feel as though it dosen't count anymore. Isn't that sad. That in a country where we are supposed to be free to make our own decisions feel powerless to do anything about the decisions being made for us. Ironic too since that's the line Bush is touting , free and democratic. So the men and women of the armed forces are giving thier lives for something i no longer feel is real, freedom to say enough. Stop. Stop killing my friends and neighbors and sons and daughters. Stop killing my dreams and the dreams of those around me. Stop. just stop a war that should have never been. so no my opinion of the war has not changed. my opinion of my country that i love has changed.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  72. Patrick English St. John's, NL

    No Jack it was wrong in 2003 and its still wrong. What your country will do for oil continues to amaze me.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  73. Sam Elakkad

    My mind on the war has not changed because the war and the economy are linked. The tax money spent on war should be in the hands of Americans that can spend it and stimulate the economy. Its a waste of money and resources that has tripled the price of gas, which increases the prices of all goods and services because transporting them is more expensive. Thus, its has reduced the quality of life for the poor and the middle class. If only Americans were smarter, Ron Paul would be President.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  74. Arlene Brumfield

    Jack: thank you for your good work with cnn. I will never change my mind about this crazy war in Irag. We should have stayed on the trail of Bin Laden, and Al qaeda and never have gone near Irag. A lot of beautiful young people are gone, and their families are grieving because of this huge Bush and company asleep at the wheel mistake !!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  75. William Fuchs

    It's the injured soilders that get ignored. There have been 4000 dead but thousands have been physically injured and we have no idea the mental toll. Look at the first Iraq war that lasted less then a year if i remember right but the mental toll continued for years after that. This war is going on its 7 year we will have to deal with the mental issues until 2030 or beyond.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  76. serena lembach

    There were more people killed in Iraq last year than any other. One blip and things are suddenly better due to the troop surge? How gullibe do you think we are? The whole war has been smoke and mirrors except for the steady flow of dead and wounded. The Iraqi people are slowly being execued along the way.
    We are making more enemies all the time.
    We didn't vote for Hillary because she teared up (an insulting comment to intelligent women everywhere) and we aren't swallowing the rhetoric about the war.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  77. Raleigh Myers

    The Iraq War is a War Crime.
    We need to seperate suporting the troups from suporting a war crime.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  78. Chris

    My opinion of the war is the same as the day Bush and his warlords first invaded Iraq – GET OUT!! I just think that for many people, the economy has become more personal – we can't pay our bills and we're losing our homes – that matters more than fighting Bush over his senseless war.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  79. Mary in Arkansas

    I do not, have never, and will not support the occupation in Iraq. One of the candidates said that only 23 died in Iraq during the month of December, that's 23 too many. We need to get our troops out!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  80. Charles W. Washington

    No. My opinion on the Iraq was is unchanged. We should not have invaded Iraq for any reason other than to protect American lives and property. Too many have died for a lie and a sham. The injured and wounded will be with us for several generations as a reminder why not to follow a fool.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  81. Kenneth Cheeseman

    Jack,

    I am very opposed to this war(still). What good does it do to pacify the whole country if there is no viable Iraqi government to turn it over to??? Those people will fight to the last dead American.

    Kenneth Cheeseman
    Show Low,AZ

    January 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  82. Richard

    Hi Jack,
    The war in Iraq and the economy are interrelated.
    What would the economy be like today if we had not
    wasted billions of dollars in pursuit of the reelection of
    Bush and his seeking to be a "gallant'" war president.
    No, my opinion has not changed. I'm still sick at heart of it.
    Richard in Toledo

    January 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  83. Scott

    No, I support the war and always have.

    The true fact is that cities like Chicago and New Orleans are more dangerous than Iraq is.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  84. sally w. strayer

    No, I still an just as opposed to the War in Iraq as I was 1 year ago. In the last 6 months the economy has declined so dramatically that it has become first in many Americans minds because it is so close to home. And what about the money spent in this war? It adds to the deficit and brings the economy up short in other areas. So the war and the economy are intertwined becoming the worst, among many bads, from the Bush presidency. Sally Strayer

    January 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  85. Nicholas Smith

    This question is a non-starter: this is like asking me if I beat someone to a state of unconsciosness, should I feel like all is well when they show signs of life because of a tremble. I don't know if my victim is having a seizure or will recover. This war needs to end now.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  86. jeannette

    No. Why should it have? The surge will have "worked" only if we can withdraw troops to pre-surge levels without the violence resuming at previous levels, and only if there is evidence that the so-called lull in the violence has led to political rebuilding among the Iraqi people. This idea that some sort of short-term reduction in recorded deaths is success simply shows how low the expectations have sunk, how drastically this pathetic administration has changed its OWN measures of success. But we'll be told we're being intransigent and stubborn for not changing our opinions of the war–those of us who never bought Colin Powell's very sad "proof" offered before the UN, or the idea that there were WMDs that could threaten the USA. It was a serious, immoral and tragic blunder. I'm glad if the violence has lessened. Those people need a break and we don't need more young and middle-aged soldiers dying. But change my opinion of this God-forsaken war? No. Period.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  87. Dave Arnholt

    My opinion of a totally baseless and cruel war brought on by a liar and a schemer has not changed. The defunct economy is just part of the Bushes legacy and it stinks too.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  88. William Morris

    Jack,

    No, my mind has not changed on Iraq. I was aganist it from the start and still am. We were led into this war through lies and deceit. No matter how well the war may be going it doesn't make it right, just or moral.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  89. Jack

    "Yeah "it's the economy,stupid" but its all wrapped up in a ball called Iraq.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  90. Patrick English St. John's, NL

    No Jack it was wrong in 2003 and it is still wrong today. What your country will do for oil continues to amaze me.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  91. nino Toscano

    NO!
    we're still in a country that we shouldn't occupy in the first place.
    This will look very bad in the world's public opinion for many, many years to come.
    We acted as a bully, we're already paying the consequences for it.
    Aloha,
    Nino Toscano

    January 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  92. Teresa Howard

    No, my opinion of the Iraq War hasn't changed. The people were lied too, and the Iraq War wasn't a necessary war. It was for reasons which will eventually come out, and the present White House occupants should be tried for war crimes!
    To be honest, this is why we have Congress and the Senate having the last votes, it is to protect us from the type of people now occuping the present Administration! They didn't ask enough questions, ask for more proof, and sent our troops done the river!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  93. Tom

    Jack,
    No...situation hasn't changed. We were lied to about WMD. When that lie was exposed, we were told Iraq was a hotbed of AL Quida. When that was shown to be untrue it turned out that we just needed to take out a bad man. It was an unjustified invasion to begin with and those facts haven't changed.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  94. William Brown

    My opinion of the war has been the same since the Iraq 'liberation' first began. When the top U.S. official working in Hussein's Iraq couldn't say that Weapons of Mass Destruction could be found, I knew that we wouldn't find any. It doesn't matter, more than 3,000 dead U.S. service men and women later, whether the situation is getting better or not when we went to war under false pretenses. It also makes no difference if things are getting better or not when our act of war is similar to the war crime of 'aggressive' war we charged the Axis with after World War II. The war was unnecessary and made us less safe here at home. We have to clean up our mess and get out of the region quickly. We can't cut and run, and we have to own up to our mistakes.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  95. Mary

    No Jack, my opinion of the Iraq war has not changed, I hate it more eacch day. One young American killed is one to many. How can we possibly tout this surge has been a success when we have lost nearly 4,000 of our finest young Americans. I am a mother of a veteran. I hate this war and have nothing but disgust for all who support it.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  96. S. Ramsey

    No. I don't feel differently. It was wrong from the beginning and it is wrong now. It was started based on lies and with reckless disregard to life of both our soldiers and the iraqi people. We may be distracted at the moment with all the other problems this administration is responsible for creating in this country, but we will be reminded again when the next car bomb hits our soldiers. At least I hope we will remember our soldiers over there.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  97. Jon in D.C.

    My opinion has never changed, I support our strategy in Iraq. Unfortunately, even today when faced with overwhelming changes for the positive in Iraq, the likes of Nancy Pelosi continue to accent only the negative. They do so because they invested in defeat. So much so that now, if they were to acknowledge any success in Iraq after the surge, it would cost them their positions in government. They are beholden to those far left anti-war voters who put them in office. Now that the change they wanted in strategy occured and appears to be working, they still continue to refuse to change their opinions of the war. THEY (Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, etc.) are the ones you should be asking this question, not us. Oh, and my son was part of that surge before it was called a surge when they deployed to Ramadi, Anbar province, and they were part of what became the success being enjoyed today there. Thank goodness our Commander In Chief has the foresight and the courage to do what is right and not politically expedient.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  98. Stewart

    Jack know one has changed their mind about Iraq. The American people are just sick of our government not giving a damn about what we want. We wont out of Iraq and thats why we but in all those democrats in office to get us out of there. So if know one is going to do a thing about it. We have no choice but to look the other way and find somthing else to care about. But i have a feeling that no matter what the topic maybe our government is going to keep on not care about us and fix the problems that is in their liking.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  99. Rick

    I'm impressed w/ the reported success in Al Anbar but my opinion has not changed. I believe we should stay the course (albeit there's risk of "going down with the ship") so American blood was not shed in vein. I and others have volunteered to serve but told we are ineligible due to background. Since the recruiting volumes are low, the military should "pilot" allowing those with negative backgrounds serve – perhaps via a probationary period with more severe negative consequences for misconduct.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  100. Marilyn Gottier

    We are thinking more about how to pay for a tank of gas, buy groceries and pay for medical costs and utility bills. The sad part is all this is only getting worse because of all our money going to rebuild what some radicals in Iraq are willing to strap bombs to their bodies and tear down. What the Bush administration has done to our great country is an abomination. China will own us very soon.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  101. Justin

    Jack,
    My opinion on the war has not changed, because when you spend such an obscene amount of money on failed policy, it certainly has a negative effect on the economy. The answer is simple: If you're more concerned about the economy than the war, then stop wasting all that money in Iraq.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  102. MD

    No it hasn't. We shouldn't have gone there or been there. What a mess the President started for what reason? It's taking us all down.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  103. Trudy Le Beau

    Absolutely not! The lies and incompetency that has embroiled our country in this travesty has killed almost 4,000 American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. But it has also cost billions of dollars that should have been directed at shoring up jobs, health care, Social Security and other economic issues that affect us. Bush's war has wasted precious lives and resources. Why this country hasn't demanded impeachment is beyond me.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  104. Garrick, Atlanta, GA

    The fact that a surge in US troops is necessary for Iraqis to not kill themselves reminds me just how poor the judgement is of many of the members of Congress in Washington, especially Senators (seeking the Presidency) who attempt to blame President George W. Bush or former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for their poor judgement. At the end of the day, the Iraqis are not going to live and play nicely with one another whether US troops are there or not. I'm still disheartened that Americans are giving their lives for a cause that Iraqis do not even embrace. It's disgraceful. Each additional day US combat troops are in Iraq, I become more disappointed in the leadership in Washington. It is certainly time for a change, not candidates telling us that their experience that got us into this war will somehow get us out. Yeah, right!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  105. Juan Pena

    I am not sure if people realize that the war in Iraq is part of the reason the economy is in trouble. The huge deficits created by the war lead to a fiscal imbalance that leads to a weaker dollar. Plus, after spending billions in Iraq, we really have nothing to show for it. In the meantime, we haven't spent in the things that would have helped our economy, such as infrastructure (remember that bridge collapse just last year), education, etc. In the meantime, we have neglegted the other war we should have really been focusing on: Afghanistan. The Iraq surge is a band-aid, Iraq is big mess, it really hasn't gotten better politically, and there is still plenty of violence. Our resourses are being mispent. It's time we pull out of Iraq and focus on curtailing the Taliban in Afganistan and it's time we focus some of our resources here at home. The political candidate that can do it and has been saying all of this all along: Barack Obama.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  106. Sam Elakkad

    God help us if the Republicans are elected, with the exception of Ron Paul. They want to control every last Muslim country, no wonder people are willing to blow themselves up to fight us.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  107. Michael Quinn

    Jack,

    No my opinion has not change since day one. We should not be there period. There was no reason for us to be there except to give us the foothold in the Middle East that we lost with the fall of the Shah of Iran. If it was not for our meddling in the Middle East 9/11 probably would have never happened. We are just creating an environment that will create more people to hate us. We should leave and let them figure out things for themselves because no matter what we do someone will be blaming us for something.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  108. edmund nichols

    Not only has my opinion on the Iraq War not changed - I have always been opposed to it - but I am convinced the Administration is being abetted by the U.S. media in diverting public attention from the failure of the Iraqi government to make any real progress toward reconciliation of its religious/political factions and effective self-government. When will U.S. citizens rebel as we should against the staggering cost to the U.S. of the war and support of this ineffective Iraqi government? Only a drastic change of direction by the next Administration can put an end to this madness.

    Ed Nichols
    Austin, Texas

    January 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  109. Brock Bishop

    No, my opinion of the Iraq war has not changed at all. I thought it was the right thing to do all along, and I have supported the mission from the get go.

    I realize this is not the answer you're looking for. You're looking for detractors who are "hopping on the bandwagon" now that the outlook is a little brighter.

    Perhaps you're looking for someone to hold your hand while you "jump on" there Jack?

    sincerely, Brock Bishop, North Vancovuer, BC

    January 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  110. Kim

    Jack, let's not be tempted to fall into a 'feel good' mode about lower US casualties in Iraq – 1 is too many. Feeling good about Iraq is as off-base as thinking that the bad guys that have been temporaily surpressed are going away. They'll be back as soon as we are out of the picture. If we say we're not prepared to let that happen then we'll be taking casualties in that hell hole for the next 100 years. Look at the history of the region and buy a clue.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  111. Dot

    My opinion has not changed one iota! The war was unnecessary, empiricist, immoral, ill-conceived and ill-implemented. If the do-nothing congress cannot bring themselves to impeach this president and vice-president, then I hope someone will have the guts to bring criminal charges for crimes against humanity and crimes against citizens of the U.S. not involved in the war but now living in a country so far in debt that we could be taken over at any time by all our creditor nations getting together and calling those debts. I have lost so much faith in our government–largely due 7 years of Bush et al.–that it is likely I will write in my own name on the November ballot because I want to vote but don't believe I can trust anyone who runs for political office. Sad, sad, sad.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  112. Rocky Boussias

    I believe that in the midst of the imminent governmental change that we are beginning to realize the domestic problems that plague this nation which have been masked by out so called "War on Terror". We have spent far to much time worrying about the prospect of Democracy in the Middle East and have in turn neglected the very foundation that runs our own Democracy. To answer your question I am certain that the people of this nation will begin to change their outlook on this war, and begin to get their priorities strait. With respect to the soldiers, they have done well and it is slightly encouraging that the Iraqis will begin to run their own country. This whole development is engulfed in irony if you ask me, but its better late than never!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  113. Pat

    Of course my view of the war has changed. What looked to be a three month surge turned into a catastrophy. WMD's were never found and what looked to be a reason to make the surge was a lost cause. However, I do believe these weapons existed. He used them on his own people for God sake. Will the recent success in Iraq help McCain?Thats TBD

    January 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  114. Dave Loveall - Missouri

    No Jack, my mind hasn't changed. Anyone familiar with warfighting strategy knows that technolgy cannot take the place of "boots on the ground". (well, maybe if we just nuked the whole damn place) Rumsfeld was stupid and didn't listen to the generals or we'd have had adequate forces to begin with. And Bush listened to Rumsfeld WWWWAAAAYYYYY too much!!! We're getting it right now, sadly after so many good soldiers (heroes all to me) have paid the ultimate price.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  115. Jan Wilson

    So increased troops, presumably at greater dollar cost, have resulted in some military success and reduction from ridiculous to excessive casualties. But no progress on diplomatic solutions.

    It reminds me of the old joke where the pilot informs the passengers that we are lost, but we have picked up a tailwind and we're making good time!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  116. Susan

    Jack,

    My opinion of the Iraqi war is in no way off the front burner in my mind. It is sharing the heat with unforbidden "R" (RECESSION) word that ressonates just as deeply with Iraq. Looming not far behind is Iran as I heard Bush beating the war drum in that direction AGAIN.

    My job was downsized in this past July and I have yet to find another job as I am nearing the end of the unemployment benefits permitted me. There are some days where I feel my heart and my head will implode from all of the concern I share with other Americans who feel so deeply about our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters serving our country all in the name of George Bush's war on terror.

    Terror resides right here in the U.S. It has a name and a face we can clearly see. George W. Bush. He and his administration is successfully running our country straight to hell in all aspects – internationally and domestically.

    So, NO, Jack, I haven't felt the Iraqi war concerns lessen one bit. There are equally frightening things I worry about that at times is all consuming. Honestly, I do not know how Mr. Bush sleeps at night.

    Susan
    Sacramento, CA

    January 11, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  117. Terry

    Jack,

    From the first bomb that was dropped my opinion was that we were making a mess that we will be cleaning up for years to come. As I was never specific about a "timetable", that opinion still stands. And while economists are concerned about America's AAA rating, I'm worried about exporting "preemptive war" as a solution to conflict. I'm sure bin Laden would be happy to open up local Preemptive War francises on every street corner in America.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  118. Dan Fleury

    Feelings about the war haven't changed, they've just been overshadowed by more immediate economic conserns that have resulted from the war. The ungodly amounts of money we have thrown away on the war, the "free fall" of our stock market, the horor stories of health care provided for our troops when they return, all of these were conserns that fell on deaf ears when the war began. Now we're only begining to pay the piper.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  119. Lane

    Everything has changed, Jack.. At least for most Americans. When our livelihoods are threatened by illegals, downward turns in the economy, and outsourcing of just about everything. The perception of the occupation get less and less important. If we can't afford to stay afloat, how can we afford to pay the military?
    Oh I forgot, They will just print or borrow more money from China and Mexico.

    Today I took the loss, and withdrew my 401Kto heck with my retirement right now, I've got bills to pay.

    While on his trip to the Middle east, may the flees of a thousand camels, find Bush's tent.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  120. Susan

    Myy opinion of the war in Iraq stays the same. We need to halt the war and all talk of war and start talking of and making peace there. The war is part of what is dragging on our economy. The only plus to our economy is it creats jobs for the wonderful soldiers that are willing to die if it helps one person. The war and the economy together are at the top of the campaign list for me.

    Susan in NC

    January 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  121. Botcha McCoola

    Have things in Iraq improved? Has the $2-3 billion per week cost stopped? The war will continue to be the top economic issue for me until not only all costs stop but someone puts back the $trillion that the hawks have wasted.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  122. Andrew

    They lied us into war, nothing about that has changed. They continue to purse policy decisions that contradict what the American people want. So we must come to the conclusion that they simply don't care what the people of this country want. They republicans have become ruling figures vs. governing politicians. They are un-american and it is my hope that the American people have had enough and will move past these war mongering old white men.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  123. Stewart

    Jack no one has changed their mind about Iraq. The American people are just sick of our government not giving a damn about what we want. We wont out of Iraq and thats why we but in all those democrats in office to get us out of there. So if know one is going to do a thing about it. We have no choice but to look the other way and find somthing else to care about. But i have a feeling that no matter what the topic maybe our government is going to keep on not care about us and fix the problems that is in their liking.

    Indianapolis, IN

    January 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  124. Ann

    Jack, my opinion of our occupation of Iraq is not going to change. We were deliberately lied to about the need to invade this non-threatening force in the Middle East. As a result, the terrorists continue to thrive in Afghanistan and Pakistan, our alleged ally, and the Malaki government is inept and ineffective. "Step up and we step down"? It ain't gonna happen!

    I'm more supportive of the war in Afghanistan (where my son is currently deployed) but the Bush administration squandered our moral and ethical credibility throughout the world, and any administration statements regarding success of the "surge" or any other progress is questionable, at best.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  125. Lin D

    The level of importance I place on the our invasion of Iraq is not directly related to my opinion of that same war.

    The war was the response of a selfish four-year-old child, who said early on "they shot my daddy!" It was the in the wrong place, against the wrong people, with no goals beyond "get them dirty terrorists," and no exit strategy. Any goal-setting process tells you that you need to list what success looks like, so you'll know it when you get there. And have a set of steps to achieving it. I still haven't seen either.

    My level of importance of that war has gone down because I cannot support the war if I cannot hire people, and pay them wages. I cannot pay business taxes if I go out of business. I cannot support the economy which will support the war if I am homeless and paying no property taxes.

    My *opinion* of something does not relate to it's *importance* in my life.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  126. Victor

    No . The hawks have moved the goal posts so many times and have so many spins that would make even Bush woosie. No one could with a straight face that the finest military force in the world was not going to prevail in the surge. They would want us to believe their spin. A failure by any other name will smell as rotten. We, the people , must reject this smuck.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  127. Karen

    No. So now I am unable to multi-task on issues as well as unable to select my own president? Thanks.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  128. swashbucklingcowboy

    My opinion hasn't changed one little bit.

    It's still a debacle. Despite reports to the contrary, the surge has been a failure. The reduction in violence is due to the military working with Sunnis. Something both the Bush administration and the Shia led Iraqi government had opposed. And the reduction in violence still hasn't resulted in the compromises that the Iraqis were supposed to make.

    A year ago yesterday, President Bush told the nation: "So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced. To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution." (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070110-7.html)

    Guess what, most of those things haven't happened. So much for Bush holding the Iraqi government accountable. Of course, Bush hasn't been held accountable for his failures either. 😦

    January 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  129. geasr

    Is this a joke . with 555 billion going to iraq and disabled people and old people doing without here . we get a 2.1 percent raise and medicare deductible goes up 25 bucks .

    January 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  130. Ken Jackson

    Why do you HAVE to find some negative news when the news is good?

    The sons of Satan that hit us in 2001 don't see the country borders that civilized people see. To them, the only issue is murdering everyone everywhere that doesn't buy into their particular brand of Islam, which is a psychosis.

    The news you reported means civilized people in Iraq are starting to gain faith in democracy, in freedom, in each other. They are starting to believe, as President Bush and I believe, that the sons of Satan can be defeated, and will be if we fight.

    "Political progress" is something that will follow. It's important, but not nearly as important as you make it sound. The important thing is to save innocent lives and kill or defeat the evil doers.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  131. Donna Metcalfe

    Dear Jack,
    Nothing has changed in Iraq to convince me that we should lose one more American soldier to a war that should never have involved the United States . The Iraqis have done nothing to get their house in order which was suppose to be the reason for the "surge". In addition, I remain very angry to see my tax dollars flowing into the pockets of mercenaries under the guise of " contractors" . The Republicans under the present administration have given new meaning to the pharse "Culture of Corruption" . End this nightmare and bring our troops home .

    Sincerely,
    Donna

    January 11, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  132. Bill

    Jack,

    From day one I was against this war, but what I thought would surely set the American public against it was never allowed o happen. That was many of the same memories I had as a child of Viet Nam. The memories were the constant flow of video of the transports landing in Delaware full of caskets. I was appalled that those videos were not to be repeated this time around, they would have stopped this war quickly. How could anyone ever celebrate that we only lost 23 soldiers this month? The death toll is still inching up on 4000 dead, should we cheer that it won't hit that number till March or April, instead of this month? Is that really a reason to celebrate?

    January 11, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  133. Sam Elakkad

    Jack,

    God help us if the Republicans stay in office with the exception of Ron Paul. The democrats are a little better because they say they will get us out of Iraq, I'll be happy with Obama as President even though his name is close to Osama.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  134. Jack OConnor

    Of course its changed. The Bush gang were screwing this up from the beginning and when Bush finally wised up he threw Rumsfeld in front of the bus. Rummy should have held tight and dragged him along.

    Maybe the NY Times will run a full page ad at their cost bringing attention to General Pertayus and the wonderful job he's been doing. You know "All the News We Want to Fit We'll Print".

    Jack O'Connor
    Delray Beach FL

    January 11, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  135. carrol denny

    It sure has changed. But not for the better! It's deeper masking of the truth to secure support for even more time,lives and money spent. Not to mention a pralude in launching aggresions against Iran.

    Carrol Denny
    Kansas City

    January 11, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  136. Bob of Leslie Michigan

    In the beginning of the war I thought it was justified...However, as time went on I wanted and still want to bring our troops home...Today I really don't know... a simple geography lesson shows that we have Iran surrounded with our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan...Maybe IRAN is the REAL PURPOSE for our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    January 11, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  137. Sam Elakkad

    The tax money spent on war should be in the hands of Americans that can spend it and stimulate the economy. Its a waste of money and resources that has tripled the price of gas, which increases the prices of all goods and services because transporting them is more expensive. Thus, its has reduced the quality of life for the poor and the middle class.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  138. Tarryl

    The war is being given a new face almost every year first it was to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction then it was to liberate the Iraqi people from a inhumane regime now its part of the war on terror ,now are brave troops are supposed to keep the so called insurgents from disrupting the political process so the involved political parties can reconcile Im waiting to hear the real reason for the occupation of Iraq before I even begin to have an opinion , what did we go to war for again?

    January 11, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  139. David

    NO! We were lied to about the reason for deployment and I can't reconcile lying and deaths of our soldiers with a lessened intensity of disgust.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  140. Lin D

    Apologies. I meant to say "I cannot support our Troops" not support the war. And possibly support our country. But NOT support the war.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  141. David

    NO! We were lied to about the reason for deployment and I can't reconcile lying and deaths of our soldiers with a lessened intensity of disgust.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  142. ignacio molina

    Hey Jack,
    just a few words of wisdom about the Iraq war that we had no business going in to begin with and I could care less about "surge"
    four thousand, I repeat thousand American soldiers have die along with hundreds of thousands of Iraquis human beings not all bad guys; add to that the seven hundred billion dollars, so far and counting. By the time we finish all this America is going to be naked and this administration only vision is to invade.
    Just the money along would have been enough to change the whole world if it was put to good and transparent use. What a shame, I can only imagine what future generations are gone said about us.

    Best wishes.
    Iggy.
    Bronx, NY.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  143. William Courtland

    Iraq was an action of arrest against Saddam. It is now a restabilization effort.

    The word war. It groups with famine, plague, pestilence, impoverishment, oppression, anguish, and torment. One creates a zone of (X) one can go to a zone of (X) and one can fight each blight with an opposing ideal such as war with peace or plagues with husbandry.

    Be more specific. Any thing civil is automatically not violent. As civil argument even when between opposing national governments.

    multi-national violent conflict of arms.
    bi-national violent conflict of arms.
    National conflict of arms – insurrection, rebellion, renagade action..?

    Beyond the Blights their are the Wraths. These are in parrellel to those freed from Pandora's box and afflict the state of a persons mentality. All wraths are thwarted with hope and knowledge.

    The next is sin as perpetrated acts which will harm others directly or indirectly, and the last are vices which are usually only committed against one's self. These are opposed by laws and virtues.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  144. Ramsi

    my opinion has not changed as our troops still get just weeks to train and then get shipped over to fight while the Iraqi's are getting years and years and still they are not able to do it ... what's up with that ? ! I guess they are not stupid.... ie: would you clean your own house if someone else was always offering to do it for you ???
    have a great day !

    January 11, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  145. Sam Elakkad

    My number one candidate is Ron Paul, but my more realistic choice is Obama. No ones ready for the kind of change Ron Paul is talking about, even though his views are the smartest I have ever heard.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  146. Gavin

    Hello Sir,

    I'm Canadian, so my opinion probably isn't relevant, but I enjoy watching American politics like I enjoy hockey on Saturday night. I don't want to disrespect anyone, but it seems that everyone is concerned about the economy and no one discusses the expense of the war. How much has it cost now? Has anyone created a balanced budget for that expence? Many Republican candidates seem to think you'll be there for some time. It's almost accepted as a government expence like education or something. It seems crass to debate deficit's, and spending control and support the Iraq war. Is the debt worth the war should be the real question. And money aside, how many people have died in the war in Iraq,(Americans let's say, because it seems far more relevant to other Americans), and how many lost their lives in 9/11? I just wanted to compare those numbers again, too. Good luck, I'm pulling for all of you. Perhaps Lockheed Martin could lend the government some money...maybe Haliburton, or Blackwater, or...

    January 11, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  147. Ted in Portland

    Unchanged. DEAD wrong to be in Iraq of which the people of Iraq were never the threat at all. But the Bush administration (at that time led by Dick Cheney) just wanted to strut around a bit since they were relatively new and obviously totally unqualified at playing war games. We left Afghanistan to fight in Iraq, now more troops are being ordered back to Afghanistan. Lunacy! Since we left, Afghanistan has had record crops in Opium as well and I think I know who's smoking it. Osama is still running around a free man able to kill as many Americans as his al Qaeda terrorists want to and wherever they want. That part of the equation has never changed in all the 4375 Americans killed since it started. Yeah...its time to get the hell out.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  148. John from Naples

    Jack,

    I hope you mention that the response to your question was not only "no, my opinion hasn't changed," but also that the overwhelming response was of a negative opinion of the war.

    Each time I hear one of you media guys say, "the surge is working," I cringe. Apparently, most of you were too busy reading the teleprompter to actually understand why Bush committed the surge in the first place. It wasn't to bring the body count down, it was to give the Iraqi government time to get their stuff together. In those terms, the surge was just another colossal waste of American lived and resources.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  149. Jim York - Maine

    Jack

    If Americans do not recognize the progress in Iraq, then that tells me we do not care about or ackowledge the sacrifice and success of our soldiers. What kind of message does constant pessimism about the war's direction send? They have done a remarkable job the last 5 years, and we need to let them know we are aware of the progress they are making. How can Anbar not be an example? We can only hope now the Iraqi Parliament will get something done and take advantage of the situation we have helped create for them. I am getting tired of seeing American soldiers dying for a government in Iraq that is incapable of coming together and compromising on tough issues.

    Jim York
    Maine

    January 11, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  150. Jim Blevins

    People like Bush are masters of manipulation of numbers in order to create the desired spin. Give control of the bulk of the country to the same people you used to regard as the enemy, block the rest of the country off into prisons with highly restricted access and keep most soldiers in such mini-green zones. This gets the numbers down, but makes the long term problem worse. The other important number - billions a week - hasn't gone down. If anything Iraq is a worse problem but the illusion is that it's better.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  151. Sam Elakkad

    Our foreign policy is drainign this country and ruining our economy, if only there was a candidate that could lower spending and get rid of the Income tax.........Ron Paul. Too bad hes the only Republican that will do the two most important things. First, get out of other countries, second, make the government a lot smaller.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  152. John Crane

    Every time I see the amount of money drained from our Treasury to fund the War on Iraq, I find myself in utter disbelief.

    9-15 BILLION devalued dollars per Month. Each and every month.

    What is this to you and me?

    There are estimated approx. 16 million persons in the 12th grade in 2006. See http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d06/tables/dt06_002.asp?referrer=report.

    15 billion per month divided by the 16 million seniors in 2006 = $11,250 devalued dollars per year per Senior.
    Almost enough enough to send EVERY high school senior to College!!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  153. Gino

    Nope, I have not changed my mind... I did not think that we should have gone to war with Iraq when this happened and I still think the same. I did not see any good reasons for us to go to war with Iraq just because Saddam Hussein was an ugly person, a little Hitler-type guy... we were not really assured that he had WMDs or whatever, it was not confirmed... except that as Americans we were lied to for reasons we eventually will know if we live long enough! The first time we went to war against Iraq was for a better reason, to help a nation we were friend with and that needed our help... but then again, why could not some other country closer to that wasps' nest go and help and fight Iraq?
    I am only sad that so many Americans and other nation soldiers who have been and still are there are dying for a war that should not have started. By the way, how many of our so-called friendly Arab countries have soldiers in Iraq? Nope, my opinion has not changed, and I still feel that this war were so many are dying was started because of some economic reason and because somehow we wanted America's presence in the area!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  154. Bob

    No Jack it hasn't changed one bit, I was against going in when we started and we shoudn't be there now.! The only things we have accomplished are the deaths of almost 4000 American troops, 25,000 of them injured and 12,000 maimed for life!
    Not to mention 85,000 innocent Iraqis dead and more injured! How can anyone justify this fiasco of a war that we were lead into based on lies of WMD"s and a connection with 9-11! It is responsible for our economy to be in the dumpster, and it's only going to get worse...where is Paul Wolfowitz claims of Iraqi oil paying for the war now! And the icing on the cake is the man responsible for 9-11 continues to walk freely! Watch Bush pull an October surprise, with a miraculous capture of Osama Bin Laden!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  155. Justin Gensel

    Definetly not. The Iraq War, or Iraqi Intervention as I like to call it, is still a blatent attempt of the Bush Administration to exploit the fears of the American people. Now, the American people finally see that we are in a recession. One of the most recent economic recessive examples is seen from the Holiday season. Shoppers were at an all time high, yet companies reported a drop in overall purchases per capita. That War is the reason why republicans and democrats have shifted their attention to the economy. It was the War that sent our economy into a downfall, except people are just starting to see its repercussions now. And the reason why a War isn't helping the nation like back in WW2 is because all major companies outsourced. So...way to go Mr. President, and way to go Corporate America....you are putting the final nails in our coffins!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  156. James, Phoenix

    In 2003 I joined the Army thinking it was the right thing to do, boy was I wrong. The war on and I say ON Iraq was just that, Israel used the US to get ride of one of it's biggest enemies.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  157. Russell

    My opinion of the war in Iraq has not changed at all. Surge or no surge the war was started under false pretenses. Murder by any other name is still MURDER. People are being killed daily because bush and cheney lied. What part of this do people not understand? Every politician who supported the war then and now are accessories to murder and the media reports on the war like it is legitamite. This makes them accessories too. The alleged leaders in this country are disgusting and I hope that they all rot in hell.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  158. Chuck Ott

    NO. The facts remain: Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al Qeda, we were the aggressors and invaded without real provocation and Osama Bin Laden is still free.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  159. Jame O'Donnell

    Let's see. 2007: The most deadly year for Iraqis AND Americans; the largest number of internal refugees (most from Baghdad, after we helped the sectarian militia-dominated security forces CLEANSE the neighborhoods of Sunnis); and Nineveh, Diyala, and the border with Turkey growing HOT HOT HOT... (Plus the Shiite-controlled south has seen its share of factional violence and religious violence vs. secular women/businesses since the Brits took a powder.)

    And how did things cool off in Baghdad and Anbar since August? After the Surge failed, we put the Sunni insurgency on the payroll: 40,000 insurgents, armed, trained, and collecting $300-month from Uncle Sam - that's what's worked, not the "military successes" CNN keeps touting! Get real.

    Nice try, CNN! But I'm still not buying what you and the White House are peddling.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  160. Jerry

    Jack, My feelings on the war remain the samebut the old saying is still true.
    When you are up to your but in alligators it's hard to remember that the prime objective is to drain the swamp.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  161. Marcello do Guzman

    Jack,

    My opinion of the Iraq War, the Bush administration and the evil and disgusting Evanglists has not changed one iota. I will be much happier when all our troops are back home safely, Bush and his cronies are gone, and the Evangelists read Darwn's Theory of Evolution.

    Marcello do Guzman

    January 11, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  162. Robert

    How can anyone change their mind about the war in Iraq when the primary facts haven't changed? Iraq never attacked the U.S. and had no weapons of mass destruction. Iraq didn't even have an al Qaeda presence before it was attacked. Most Iraqis still think it's okay to kill American soldiers. Throw out the probability that the various factions in Iraq may never have a functioning democracy. The U.S. and its allies had no legitimate justification for attacking Iraq in the first place. Count me as a "NO" to your question.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  163. Ruby Coria, CA.

    Jack, NO, NO nothing has change in my mind I don't care what good comes from it now, in my opinion we where NEVER suppose to be there one just 1 life was to many,,I know 911 but that was the wrong thing to do! NOTHING good is going to come out of it, we just have to donate more to the paralize VETS. dang and for what?!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  164. Maggie

    It comes as no surprise to me that the present administration would try to fool Americans into thinking that the war was justified – and just in time to help out the GOP. Please – there was nothing ever right about this war and our young men and women need to be rescued and brought home to safety. Then, the best thing that could happen is for a new administration (with Barack Obama at the helm) to begin to mend our US fences around the world. We have a great deal of fixing to accomplish.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  165. Annie

    Jack,

    My opinion of the Iraq war will never change. I don't care how many of our kids don't die, what province is now peaceful instead of chaotic, how many less Iraqi's lives are ruined. It should have never happened, period. I want to know what the people who voted this administration in twice were thinking. This may go down as our biggest blunder ever.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  166. Peter Newkirk

    My opinion on the war in Iraq has surely not changed. I have always supported the war and thought it was a good idea from the very beginning. It would have been ludicrous if we had just slapped Al-Qaeda and Iraq on the wrist, that is not how the world's superpower does things. I hate to hear people say this war is such a bad thing and such a tragedy, because it really isn't. Something like 3900 of our troops have died, compare that to 300,000 in world war 2 which lasted eight years. Our men and women overseas choose to be there and they know very well they could die. If you've ever heard soldiers talk about their situation, most want to be there and want to win.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  167. Dave

    Jack, The white house lunitics are at it again, selling smart bombs to their Arab buddies again. Is there no end to this insanity? Oh and no I have not changed my mind about Iraq. We are pouring our money down a rat hole Tis fitting that the rats are feeding more rats. Dave Golden Valley Az

    January 11, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  168. Diana

    Jack,

    It's not that we no longer care about the war, because it's still the number one issue with us. The news media have dropped it from their radar screen and have chosen instead to follow every nattering pollster and pundit's election hiccup and prediction – ad nauseum!

    January 11, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  169. Mike Conroy

    The Iraq war is basically over. Only those with political or religous objections will continue to tout it as an issue.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  170. Dave Ellis

    Dear Jack,

    You rock! You are the best thing on CNN.

    Please, use your influence to stop a very annoying practice that is becoming common on your network. The commentators are more and more frequently introducing what is to follow with teasers like, "Next we will tell you what you might now be eating that could kill you." or "The results of the race are in, and right after the break, we will tell you who won."

    Please stop that. Just tell me. Or, if you insist on giving a preview, leave out the tease. Don't insult me. I will stay tuned if you consistently give me quality. If I wanted to be teased I go back to junior high.

    Thanks,

    Dave Ellis
    San Rafael, CA

    January 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  171. Erik in Maine

    We don't know anything about the overall success of the surge until the additional troops are pulled out. If Iraq is stable without additional US troops enforcing stability, then the surge will have succeeded. While the US still has a significant presence in Iraq we know nothing.

    After all, no one throws spitballs while the teacher is in the room.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  172. Lee

    I agree with recent comments by Ryan Crocker.

    "We have to stay with this; this is hard," Ryan C. Crocker said in a Jan. 9 interview with Soldiers Radio and Television in Baghdad. "There are going to be more bad days, but increasingly, we're seeing good days as well. The consequences of not succeeding in Iraq for the stability of the region, for the health of the international economy, and for America's own security, are very grave indeed."

    January 11, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  173. JD

    NO
    23 troops killed in December in Iraq.How many Americans were killed by illegals in the the US in December,how many drugs were smuggled into the US in December,how many gangs came over, I can keep going on but I think you get the point.Maybe Saddam should have not tried to shot down our jets in the no fly zone and the other 20 reasons why we went to war.All you guys can remember is the part about the WMD do you have short term memory loss?

    January 11, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  174. Margo Mann

    I think the war in Iraq is extremely important and I wish the candidates would point out much more what a huge mistake it was for Bush to start a war there. If Bush had gone to Afghanistan, after Bin Laden, Al Qaeda terrorists wouldn't have had a need to go into Iraq. Saddam hated Al Qaeda and wouldn't have let them in. The Taliban would be greatly diminished and so would Al Qaeda if the American troops had gone straight to Afghanistan. And Americans might actually be safer from the terrorists, not to mention the British.
    why aren't the candidates pointing this out daily? They should be.
    Remember? There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!
    Margo

    January 11, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  175. balde

    of course no, because bush went Iraq for revenge of his father which is Bushes personnel purpose. im mad of bush and his supporters of the war, especially hillary. the costs of the war is affecting the american people every day. we should fight against extremist and not against somebody's power. this is really devastating for the american people.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  176. Ken KS

    Jack, are you surprised that most of your contributors to this question answered "NO " and gave many valid points?

    This war was wrong. That has never changed and it destroyed any credibility Bush ever had. Besides oil, profiteering for Haliburton & friends and revenge for Daddy Bush, let's call this for what was a big question and it wasn't WMD, Wolfowitz and his fellow stooges pushed this war so Israel's number one threat, Saddam's Iraq would fall to us for their security and not our own Middle East ally. Israel could have whipped Saddam in a week if it had to, Israel and Saddam both knew this. Why doesn't CNN and FOX mention that? Because both sold out to Karl Rove's threats?

    January 11, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  177. Carmelo, NJ

    Jack: as a Marine grunt served one tour duty (13 months) in Nam we had many successful operations temporally routing the enemy from the area. However the vast majority of South Vietnamese didn’t want us there. The rest is history
    Our President and his Zionist neocons lied and deceived the American people on going to war in Iraq. The "Surge" (like many we had in Nam) might seem successfully militarily but in the final analysis it will be up to the Iraqis if they want to keep American troops in Iraq.

    January 11, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  178. Larry Klein

    Jack Great Job
    Opinion is redefined it has to be the Economy first to pay for our troops stationed all over the world. After a War we don't leave. We're still in Japan & Germany from WW 2 as well as the United Kingdom. We are always reminded that we are still in Cuba and that was from the Spanish American War. We'll be hanging around the Oil Fields of Iraq for ever to protect them and to have military in the Middle East to Protect our interests no matter who we elect! The USA just doesn't leave.

    We may let the locals handle the day to day, but our presents will be sitting where we ever we have an interest.

    Larry Klein
    Hidden Hills, CA

    January 11, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  179. jason

    This isn't a war since the iraqi "elite" republican guard didnt't last over 3 weeks so United states is an occupier and notice americans did the same thing to british during revolutionary war.

    January 11, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  180. Barry Storr

    No it hasn't, people are still dying, and for what reason? what can this administration honestly say the accomplished by invading that country? one death is one too many, the fact that 10 people rather than 100 are being killed every day does mot mean that the serge is working.

    January 11, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  181. Patrick

    Only the brainwashed could ever think positively about any of this invasion. What the betrayers aren't telling you is that the small organization that represents "THE TERROR" is just moving their operations. They will surge in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Morrocco, Libya, etc, etc etc. We can continue this never ending killing field and money pit into perpetuity and the winners are the war-mongers and big business interests that feed and prosper from it. The American people are fools, being led like sheep to the slaughter and the banking and arms incubus behind this sedition are laughing at you all the way to their deposit slips. Wake up little lambs, your being fleeced and slaughtered!!

    January 11, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  182. Rick

    Billions of dollars for Iraq, but our government agencies can't pay their phone bill and the Internal Revenue is already warning us our tax refunds may be delayed this year, No, my opinion hasn't changed about the war!!

    January 11, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  183. DMAC

    Nothing has changed. I have family that has been and is there. the idiot man that started this is still in office. He and his whole bunch of idiots should have been gone yrs ago. He has over worked his "Veto Pen" just so he could have his way in Iraq. And keep loosing and injuring our people so he could line his cronies pockets. He got us into a mess that s never have happened at least not when it did. Then he wasn't smart enough to see to it that all the troops had the gear they needed to lay their lives on the line for him and his idiots.
    From reports he never really did all his time I think he is a frustrated Officer and this mess has been an ego trip for him. I don't like the man and have no respect for anyone who runs around "Starting" wars . America has never been the starter but we sure have finished up a lot of other countries that were in trouble.
    It is sick for anyone to say if you are against the war you are against the troops. they are absolutely two different things

    January 11, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  184. Ed Early

    Would some courageous reporter please ask the President at the next news conference:
    Mr. President, if you had it to do all over again,
    would you invade Iraq?

    January 11, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  185. Gail

    I was against the Iraq War before it was ever discussed because of the appearance of the same people surrounding George W. Bush who started the Gulf War. I was "on the case" from the start. Nothing that I have seen or heard since January of 2001 has caused me to support the Iraq War or to change my serious misgivings.

    January 11, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  186. JERRY HOBSON

    NO I HAVE NOT CHANGED MY MINED I WAS AGAINST THIS WAR FROM THE START, THE ONLY REASON BUSH WENT TO WAR WITH IRAQ WAS TO GET REVENGE ON SUDOM FOR TRYING TO HAVE HIS FATHER ASASINATED IN THE EIGHTYS BUT NO ONE IS WILLING TO ADMIT THAT

    January 11, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  187. Ed LeFeber

    How else get any TV face time with all the political stuff sucking up face time except to go to Israel, etc
    and pray for peace?

    January 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  188. James

    Jack,
    No, my opinion remains to be, Iraq is an usless war for every American being put on the back burner while other countries are given priority. It might be our military on the ground in Iraq and Afganistan but every American citizen is on trial in the minds of the countries we invade and their neighbors. It's time to spend those BILLIONS at home.

    January 11, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  189. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    When Bush uses the basis of success by the drop in the number of U.S. soldier fatalities, does not change my view.

    January 11, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  190. Gail

    The very same people who started the Gulf War were part of George W. Bush's cadre from the very start. I KNEW we were headed for it! No, I do not support the Iraq War and never have.

    January 11, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  191. tony p

    This war is the most ridiculous war in the history of the world! We should have never gone into Iraq. The Bush administration and this war has been the greatest single EMBARRASMENT to the U.S. We are looked at as liars, manipulators and international bullies. Our troops are losing their lives for a war that they CAN NOT and WILL NOT ever win. Iraq will never become stabilized on U.S. terms. Besides that, stability is not the issue in Iraq ... we are there for OIL.

    January 11, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  192. earl

    Hi Jack
    Some time ago I heard that the us/Iraq governments put one of the militant groups on the payroll,72,000 of them. Is this true and if so maybe this is why the SURGE is working
    Please research and confirm on you show.
    To win its always good to hire the enemy

    January 11, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  193. Joyce Long

    I have heard Iraq serves as a place of employment for young Americans with few options. If they manage not to die or get mangled I suppose some people are offered an opportunity but I feel like our young should be allowed a better choice and are being taken advantage of. Without a working government in Iraq what exactly is winning anyway.

    January 11, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  194. Angie

    At the beginning I did not want to go into Iraq, because I felt we needed to finish what we started in AFGHANISTAN. I still feel that way. However, we are in Iraq and we have to fix what was messed up. But then everything our Republican white house has done along every issue from BORDER SECURITY to OUTSOURCING JOBS with the DEMINISHING of jobs in our country. And don't get me started on the economy. The republican white house has made a mess of things. And no republican will beable to fix it because they never fix what they believe is NOT BROKEN. So it will take a Democrat to grab his/her hammer and tools to fix it. And since the majority of Democrats (both men and women) know how to use a hammer and nail, it shouldn't be too hard.

    January 11, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  195. Jim Jensen

    I still think that it was not only wrong, but immoral for us to go into Iraq. I still think Bush and Cheney should be impeached for what they did. Having said that I absolutely do not think that we should simply pull the troops out of Iraq because the great sucking sound that you would hear would be every undesirable element in the Middle East, nay the world, rushing to fill in the vacuum that we would be leaving as we deployed home. We are in a Catch 22 in that we shouldn't have gone in to begin with, but now we have to stay until we can find a way to build enough stability in the country and the region for us to leave responsibly. I don't like it but I understand it. Unfortunately, some of our more liberal Presidential candidates don't seem to understand that and that scares me.

    January 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  196. Linda Shortt

    No, mu opinion hasn't changed-young men and women are still coming home in wooden boxes!
    For an entire week we've gotten to see Hillary's tear while 16 brave young men and women have died in Iraq and no one mentions them!
    If i have to see hercry one more time I'm switching to the Republican party!!!
    Linda

    January 14, 2008 at 12:19 pm |
  197. bob

    NO !!!!!

    when will the news and interest be about our country ?

    Amerian citizens and America ............not iraq

    January 14, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  198. dan pennsylvania

    I am amazed after reading these entries how so many of you sound the same !!! A bunch of media fed zombies spouting off the same crap! History will judge this adminsitration not you or jackie boy. Go ahead and vote Barak or Hillary into office . And with Harry "the war is lost " Reid ,and Nancy "I need to shop in Syria"
    Pelosi see how well we do with the nations of the middle east. Better yet go back and read actual quotes from these same people regarding Iraq prior to invasion ,back in the slick willie years . Some of these comments make sense but for the most part they sound like a baby who needs his bottle . Wake up and smell the damn coffee.

    January 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  199. Tere McDowell

    Bush and Cheney have done very well in this war. The American people believed every word this administration spoke. We; Americans are fools. We; Americans have done little to enforce any action to be taken by congress. We are not a country for the people by the people. No one in the administration, congress or the senate feel accountable to the people, for we do not hold them accountable. For shame.

    January 15, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  200. anthony

    Actually, taking out Saddam helped BIG OIL drive the prices up. A few months before the invasion, gasoline was 89 cents a gallon. Iraq"s oil infrastructure was rebuilt when Cheney controlled Haliburton. Halliburton/Iraq deal was done through the French because it was illegal for US companies to deal with Iraq, except for the oil for food program which US oil companies participated in. Saddam was charging US interests more for oil then other countries and cutting off supplies at times so they took him out.
    Please note that Saddam actually lowered the world price of oil by selling it cheaper to Russia, China, France, Germany and South Korea before the invasion. He created an instability with US & British oil by charging them more than these countries increasing competition and causing US oil companies to get subsidies from the Congress.

    January 16, 2008 at 9:55 am |