FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Tomorrow marks an historic day for Iraq - the deadline for U.S. combat troops to pull out of its cities - and Iraqis are reacting with mixed feelings. The government has declared it a national holiday, with celebrations and military parades planned.
An Iraqi girls looks up at a U.S. soldier in the village of Khan Bani Saad, near Baquba. U.S. combat troops will pull out from Iraq's cities and main towns tomorrow as Iraq takes sole charge of security in a major stepping stone to American withdrawal.
Many Iraqis say they're glad to see Americans gone... that they will feel freedom and liberation. But, others aren't so sure... One Baghdad resident says she feels "fear and horror"... and says many Iraqis will be "afraid of each other." Others say they have come to depend on U.S. troops.
More than six-years after the invasion - the U-S says Iraqi forces are ready to take control of security in the cities. We'll see soon enough. The last 10 days have seen several bomb attacks and assorted violence which has left more than 200 Iraqis dead and hundreds more wounded. Iraqi and U.S. officials had warned of an expected rise in attacks around this withdrawal date.
After the handover - U.S. forces will have to get permission from Iraq to go into cities or carry out operations in urban areas. There will be a small number of U.S. troops remaining in cities to train and advise Iraqi forces - but most of them will be in bases outside city limits.
There are about 131,000 U.S. troops still in Iraq. Most are supposed to leave the country by next summer, with all forces gone by the end of 2011.
Here’s my question to you: What is life likely to be like in Iraq without the presence of U.S. combat forces in its cities?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Andy from Chicago writes:
One word: anarchy – just like it would have been if we left 6 years ago or 10 years from now. What a waste or time, money and, most importantly, lives.
We successfully removed the stabilizing factor in Iraq, Saddam Hussein. No matter what anyone says, he kept disparate groups in one country. Now, tick-tock, it’s just a waiting time bomb.
Who cares? Crime is up in every major city in the U.S. We have to lay off police here because the cities are broke, because we are spending money policing over there. Hello? What is wrong with this picture?
It will be as chaotic as with every other vacuum left by colonial imperialists’ exits that left few families without fatalities and lifelong injuries. Life in Iraq will be poisoned for generations by the ignorant Christian zealotry of those that sent those troops into this war.
Hank from Montreal writes:
Jack, The Iraqi government has settled nothing amongst themselves. Malaki is next to powerless and biased. It is not going to be pretty: gradual descent into chaos and perhaps even civil war.
The Sunni will begin horrific acts to assume power throughout the majority of the country. It will most likely spiral out of control before the U.S. forces outside the cities can effectively put it to rest. Unfortunately, we've lost thousands of sons and daughters in a war that is about to get much worse on the Iraqi people before it gets better.
David from San Diego writes:
There will be fewer American military casualties, at last. That's all that should matter now.
Well Jack, I suppose it will be what the Iraqi's make it. We have to cut the cord eventually, so they can start building back their society.
It will be exactly what the citizens of Iraq allow it to be. They can chose a modern democracy, or an ancient theocracy.
Hopefully, the Iraqi military will step up and take care of its own people so that they can have a somewhat normal life. Our soldiers have trained them at their own cost, so it's now time to put all of that training to work.
I believe it will descend into chaos. Once we gave them a timeline for pulling out our troops only an idiot would initiate conflict before the deadline. Without our troops, I believe all the different factions will split and jockey for control of the country. They are not ready to govern themselves and they have no inspirational leader to bind all the people together.
It will be normal. They get used to it. At the same time, because of their life, we can not keep on spending crazily. well Bush messed up this....we need to untangle...and leave the place now or some time...better be now....and save some money for the future of american kids....Fix health care with it.....
I see Iraq digressing back to where it was before we invaded it.
It always amazed me that polls showed that 80% of the Iraqis didn't want us over there, even after we took Hussein out of power.
That country is rooted in deep religious beliefs and a civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites. With all we tried to do to help them I think they saw the occupation of their country by westerners as an insult.
You can't force democracy on people if they don't want it.
Gonna be some blood shed for awhile, but with that said
it's been that way for a few hundred, if not thousands of years
and we (U.S.A.) are not going to change a thing about their lifestyle.
They, the Iraqi people will make changes when they have had
enough of what cannot any longer be tolerated.. sorta sounds like
the situation here, in the good old U.S. A. .. doesn't it?
If history is any indication life in Iraq will likely evolve along the lines that life in Iran evolved from the 1953 U.S. led coupe and their subsequent take back of the country in 1979.
Sooner or later America will come to realize the Mid Eastern countries have their own culture and prefer to keep it over the type of culture the United States wants to force upon other countries.
My prediction is that all will start off well-maybe for the first week or two. Then something will happen and it will all go to hell.
It will be worse before it gets (hopefully) better ... there is always destruction before construction; wait a minute we already accomplished the first!
Considering that around 100 people have been killed in the last three weeks, I'm not very confident that our mission has been accomplished. I'm not entirely sure what the mission was in the first place though. Eradicating religious extremism is like removing gum from one's hair, practically impossible [without scissors]. Surely, removing religious extremists that pose a threat to the US and our interests is advantageous. However, bullets and bombs have proven themselves to be ineffective, maybe even provoking. Maybe one day the world will start to realize that words and ideas lead to far better solutions than guns and explosives ever will.
You know that is a very good question. Why don't we get the Hell out of there, bring our troops home and see. Maybe the folks in Iraq will look next door and see how Iran is doing with their civil unrest and do the same.
...Either way, we should never have gone in the second time and we should never take what "ANY PRESIDENT SAYS" as truthful and for the "common good" of the U.S.
One word Jack, nervous.
Don't kid yourself, Jack, we will never really be "gone" from Iraq.
It will result in the death of many citizens because Iraq is not yet ready to keep the peace. The withdrawal should be very slow as Iraq takes over the responsibility of keeping order in its cities.
Life in Iraq without the presence of US forces at this very moment will be a state of extreme confusion and disorder . It is right there in the dictionary.
I hope it is relatively quiet and peaceful but I fear it could get dangerous. Let's hope that old issues between shia's and sunnis don't make peace and democracy impossible in this land.
the same as it was before-One Hot Mess
Let's see...they will not have the US forces to deal with...rebels which most of them are foreigners....do not have an enemy to fight any more...
Normal life in Iraq will be, and this is the most important issue, in the hands of the Iraquis, and no one else....is up to them to decide their future now....
Not our problem. They wanted their country back, and we need to bring our troops home. Its their problem now.
I think security will actually improve. NO nation likes an occupation force in their country and outr troops pulling out of the cities removes an irritant. it also removes a target for terrorists.
Jack: The people of Iraq will have to define themselves after US troops move out of the cities. It will not be like our democracy, and it will not be a peaceful transition for the Iraqi Government. If the Shai's, Sunni's, and Kurd's can not live in peace sometime down the road it will not matter if US troops are there or not. We can not police the world on a budget, and I do not think the military wants to be in Iraq indefinitely.
I bet once they try returning to their own form of government and their own way of life, some Republican will get back into office and pick up right where the Bush's left off.
I would like to believe that they will continue what they are doing now.... time will tell.
No matter what happens it won't be any worse than the Saddam days.
What will life be like in Iraq once the U.S. Troops leave, i couldn't careless, we entered this war on lies, we blow Iraq up at one end, and then rebuild on the other end. How about worring about the good old United States and our people for a change, instead of dumping all of our Tax-Payer money down this sink hole.
Carl in Illinois
We will probably never know as it looks like we will be there for a long long time. That being said if we ever pull out all our forces life in Iraq will probably go back to normal ( whatever normal is).
Somewhere between Bosnia and East St. Louis.
Not to worry. It's going to be just fine. President Obama says so. Seriously, it's going to get bad but at some point we have to bring our guys and gals home. It's time for the Iraq to sink or swim. After all, they have been telling us to get our for some years now.
Remains to be seen what government emerges – the existing or replacement. Don't expect much either way.
One word.....Anarchy. Just like it would have been if we left 6 years ago or 10 years from now. What a waste or time, money and most importantly lives.
There will be fewer American military casualties–at last. That's all that should matter now. Let Bush II and the neocons answer to the Iraquis.
I expect some turmoil at first, but then life should get back to normal for most of the population in Iraq. It is high time that we back out of there.......never should have been in there in the first place.
I really don't know and I really do not care. What I do know is the Iraq government wanted us out. We should never have been there in the first place. What happens now in the cities in Iraq will be for the Iraq government to control. I am thankful and hopeful that our troops won't have to shed any more blood protecting Iraq cities any longer. What I really would like to see is for all our troops to come home.
Civil war will break out and will only be contained when another Saddam takes over. Iraq has issues that can only be controlled by a hard line leader. When the US invaded to liberate the Iraqi's we wound up killing individuals until they realized either join them or die.
I hope Iraq will survive, but I don't feel comfortable with the current administration being in cahrge. If they screw up, they will blame Bush. If it goes well, they will take credit.
Whatever the Iranians want it to be.
I foresee years of fractured special interests involved in violent political argument over religious-based ideology. I see that for Iraq as well.
Only time will tell. If the insurgents stage a comeback then we are in big trouble over there thanks to the previous administration for creating the mess to begin with.
Unless the United States has taken steps to educate the Iraqi people so that their majority can overcome their illiteracy, things will quickly regress to the state they were in prior to our invasion. Without US presence, "democracy" in Iraq will have as much chance as the current "democracy" in Iran. Perhaps pseudo-democracy would be a better term.
I hope for the Iraqi's sake nothing changes. I don't hold much hope for the Iraqi security forces to secure the city. It would be a good thing if they did.
I think that is up for grabs, Jack. One could hope they will work and demand continued peace. My biggest fear is that within a period of time it will return to a dictatorship rule, resort to old ways and old ideas. Were we given hogwash about their wanting freedom and
American ways? It will be up to the Iraqui people to decide.
It will show us if all the time,money, lives, and troops sent there was worth while. In the end when we are gone the people of Iraq will decide how they want to live and be ruled. Then we will be asked to leave our largest embasy so they can make it a resort hotel.
Jack, Without actually being Iraqi, I find it hard to answer this question. How does anyone of us living here have any idea what it will be like?
What is life likely to be like in Iraq without the presence of U.S. combat forces in its cities?
A civil war.
But hey, the civil war happens now or later but it WILL happen.
This is what happens when bad leadership, GW Bush, takes a Secular nation – Iraq – and turns it into a Theocracy like Iran.
It's going to be a terrible struggle between various etnic and religious factions with no one to act as a referee with powers to enforce jusice. A bloody mess.
Jack: If they thought it was hell when we were there-–wait until we leave--it will be a complete inferno.
A tossup. Al Qeada would love to take back the upper hand in Iraq, and after all our country has sacrificed, it would be a shame to lose that democratic country for political reasons. I hope they are not being premature in their decision.
Iraq will become a breeding ground for anti-American oil companies (Haliburton, et al) and the terrorists who hate the Americans who tolerate so much corruption.
I'm sure, as Iraqis look at their devastated cities and mnuments, and remember the hundreds of innocent Iraqi men women and children who have died because of Bush's ill-conceived war, the departure of American troops will be bittersweet at best
I know it is not politically correct to answer your question by stating that I don't know and I don't care, but enough is enough. A trillion dollars and 4,300 precious lives later America is exhausted by "givers fatigue". It's like bad dates I have had. My hopes were too high, I spent too much and the results were too small to justify the effort. America's heart is broken over what those lost lives represented; they were the best of us.
Worse than it was before we invaded. The Bush administration had no exit plan. They just saw us staying there forever.
Our troop presence has always been part of the problem more so then the solution. I think our departure will calm things more than enflame them as they do now. Our troop presence, like Gitmo, has been a recruiting tool for the enemy. It’s time Iraq stood on its own two feet. It may have a rough start, but it has to happen.
I don't expect much will change in Iraq once the U.S. military leaves the cities. I can only hope that, once the U.S. military is completely gone from Iraq, the country will return to somewhat "normal" as it was before the illegal invasion and occupation. I'm not too optimistic about that happening however as the giant oil corporations and U.S. "contractors" will still be in control of the country.
I don't think anyone can be sure what Iraq will look like, but we can be sure it will be the making of Iraqis...their problems to their solutions. At this point we should be glad that after the troops are gone neither Iraq, nor the world can blame anyone outside of Iraq for their problems.
At some point they are going to have to take care of their own security. There may be an increase in violence - but that may put the needed pressure on their government to reach a better political agreement.
Life in Iraq will never be the same since the troops have been in the nation from 03-09. There is going still chaos within the city still,and the gov't won't handle it by itself. It was Pres. Bush fault of going into Iraq and letting the Iraqis think we will stay with them forever.
I think we just need to ask the Germans, French and Itailians how they felt when the Americans pulled out of their countries. Not everyone thinks the Americans are the saviour of the world. Most of us love our country but realize we have some problems at home that need some immediate attention.
This will give all Iraqi's the opportunity to right all the wrongs the U.S. did. Those of us in America who thought we never should have been there are encouraged knowing there will be no more city combat. Now perhaps, the locals will be willing to tell authorities where the bad guy are.
No disrespect to our troops intended, but let's just swap the words 'Iraq' and 'U.S.' and then you tell me how the occupied will feel about the occupiers leaving. I think the answer to your question will be very clear.
Jack, it will be shaky at first but I think that the Iraqi forces have been properly trained by U.S. military personnel and should be able to maintain a modicum of control over warring factions. The invasion was a mistake in the first place and the U.S. has paid heavily for this blunder. They have devastated the country, killed thousands of innocent people, all allegedly to bring them "democracy". If the U.S. wanted to secure oil rights, it could have found an easier way to do so. The neo-cons can, indeed, be proud of themselves.
It will be a mess. Factions which have maintained a low profile will emerge as a struggle for control ensues. Violence has become a means to an end there and it will probably escalate for the short term until someone manages to take real control and that could take years. In short the same thing that would have happened had we withdrawn 3 years earlier or 3 years later. Sooner or later the Iraqi's have to recover on their own from the destabilization we created.
The Iraqi security forces will do their best, but will not provide the same level of security as the Americans. This will mean more innocents will die and suffer injuries at the hands of the bestial terrorists. Iraqis will soon realize this and we will be criticized for it. But, hey, you got what you ask for!
I feel for the Iraqi people. Their lives have been drowned in violence and death for, well, forever it seems.
I hope beyond hope that the Iraqi government will step up and protect their innocent citizens. (The photo of the beautiful little girl on the website breaks my heart.)
I don't believe that their way of life will change much without U.S. presence. Unfortunately, there seems to always be those sick extremists that slip through and murder innocents. It happened yesterday it will happen again tomorrow.
Either way we need to get our own American citizens out of Iraq so they can have the lives they deserve in America.
Palm Bay, FL
Without U.S. troops. and Sadaam, the country has a chance to become what it want for itself. The U.S. being there is not going to enhance that chance. The presence of the U.S. is a negative factor in Iraq at this time. We have done what we can do, and now it is up to Iraqis to step up, and run their own country.
After the U.S. spends ten million a in Iraq hopefully the Iraqis will continue to fight for their freedom. They have the potential to be the leader in rights for all in the middle East. I just hope it doesn't to the old ways.
It is their country,let them tend to it and spend the $$$$$$$$$$$$ SPENT OVER THEIR helping the AMERICAS PEOPLE .
I can understand Iraqi concerns. Our troops have always tried to act as honest brokers but there are so many factions who don't like each other who will be less restrained when we leave. My greatest concern is that Iraqi security forces will show less restraint in their actions when they are no longer partnered with US forces.
Let us all hope that the violence level is acceptable. I want the Iraq government to be responsible for its citizens safety. US troops need to be pulled back, then out.
It is unimaginable that centuries of tribal mistrust and violence is going to magically disappear because we say Iraq is now democratic, safe and secure. There are old scores to settle and vendettas to resume. Another ruthless tyrant wil probably fill the power vacuum sooner or later and life as Iraqis have always known it, as it was before the US liberation, will return. This security "handover" reminds me of Vietnam and the "Vietnamization" malarkey. Next, we'll get to hear Obama crow about how he got the US out of Iraq and then later, after repression returns, pretend they never wanted to be free anyway. History does repeat.
Oh boy, Jack, once the U.S. leaves all hell will break lose! Iraq has a long history of Suni – Shiite violence! Thanks to Bush, we are stuck there forever and a day!
Pure Havoc........hell on earth. There's too much hate over there and that government is flimsy at best.
They will find their own normal over time...If the imposed democracy thrives, so be it...In the sense of their history, the incursion of first Britain, and then the US will chew up about 100 years of their
2000 plus year history..We have carved up their oil, so who cares...
Jack – don't get me wrong – I'm not a big fan of Saddam Hussein and his ruthless rein of torture and abuse in Iraq – but it could be that he may have been the only authority in the world that could have kept the warring factions away from each other's throats. With Saddam gone and us out of there it could become a disaster or a miracle. The Iraqi people are going to have to learn to violate the three rules of a dysfunctional society whcih are: Don't Talk, Don't Trust, and Don't Feel. I wish them well and I hope it goes well for them.
Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow will let us know. The tragedy of Iraq and a very red-stained curtain is yet to fall on the final act. Many deaths, many scenes of suicide bombs, and much revenge to come are still waiting in the weary wings. I hope life does improve, but that has been the refrain for a very long time. The water, the soil, and the people have been poisoned with Depleted Uranium. Millions have become refugees. Hundreds of thousands of sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers are now gone. Can it get much worse than it already is?
mad plato of El Paso
jack,it will be worse for the iraqui's ,hopefully not as bad as it was in viet nam once we left.we should have never been there in the 1st place and even former vice president dick cheney said we had no evidence saddam hussain was involved in i9/11.what has it cost us?,over 4,500 american lives and for what.the united states cannot be the worlds policemen by getting involved in the disputes of other countries.iraq doesn't want us there and were playing us for "suckers"to see how much money they could get out of us.i am glad we're getting out of major iraqui cities and hope all of iraq soon
Its' not the violence I worry about, once we leave–it's the Cancer. We're going to be killing these poor people for Generations, by all the Depleted Uranium we leave behind. This stuff has a half life of 500,000 years.
Little different from life now. Constant attacks and killing. Fear and suspicion. The US has not brought democracy, peace or any kind of stability to Iraq and that country will be in trumoil for decades to come.
Jack I never supported the the idea of going into Iraq at all but me being the person who Iam I honestly think we're leaving to soon. There has already been a rise in bombings leading up to the day we pull all combat troops out of major cities in Iraq. I think there will be more bombings and uprising as continue to pull out all troops but the Iraqis have to take control of there own country, we cannot run our country, another country and fight a war in Afghanistan, that is impossible. I hope nothing but the best for Iraq but in the same way we cannot and should not run there goverment forever.
Scott Stodden (Freeport, IL)
That is entirely up to the Iraqi people. We have been told to leave by their properly elected and recognized government. We would be villains if we stayed unwelcomed.
Remember South Korea? We still have thousands of troops there mired in a decades war with no peace treaty. Vietnam might stir your memory when we left their country to the South Vietnamese Army who fled in boats.
Iraq will be our biggest mistake ever when their Army will collapse to the insurgents. I always think about that old adage, "History always repeats itself".
It is time to quit baby sitting with them. Our former President should not have got us into the mess. I did not see any flowers and kisses, like we were supposed to receive, when our troops got there, only troops dying. They want us out, now.
I have my sincere doubts things will be very positive in the beginning. But this is a necessary step either now or later.
It is paramount for the Iraqis to be able to handle their own security over the bullies favoring radical Muslim rule if they want to succeed and retain the democracy we have given them a chance to achieve.
Hopefully, they will ultimately (and in short order) be triumphant to prove a model to the rest of the Middle East to follow.
Like that wise cartoon character on South Park once said .."Don't care, don't care, I don't care." But if you have to know, it will explode in violence now that Iran can pretty much take it over anytime it wants to and close the straight completely. Control the straight and you control the oil. That's what this has all really been about from day one. Not 911 or WMD.
Jack they are either Ready or they will fall Apart. The Kurdish area was at least Peaceful in 1991 when we Left. 3 Ethnic and Diverse people making a Nation. The Kurds are not Arabs. The religious differences are the problem. I pray hey can look at the similarities and put aside the differences. Maybe Rush Limbaugh can go and help them find common ground. Oh better Rush and all the far Right and Left wing members of the Denocratic and Republica Parties can go help them get there act together.
It will probably be violence and mayhem at first, then hopefully they will learn how to either police themselves or perhaps just kill each other off to the point of extinction. It's their choice to continue to be violent and it's time to stop babying and enabling them. This leaving a few folks behind to train and advise the Iraqis is pure hogwash and we need to get out completely NOW. We have been supposedly training and advising them for the last several years and if they haven't got the hang of it by now, they never will. I'm sick and tired of being forced to pay years and years of hard earned tax money for this and watching it being wastefully thrown down this Iraqi black hole!!!
Yes Jack there are more important news going on in the world than the death of Michael Jackson. As to the United States pulling out of cities and urban ares of Iraq I think it will become closer to a civil war and we should get out completely and let the Iraqi's worry about their own destiny. We have a country right next door that calls for the death of America along with Britain and Israel which they say have inspired the people to protest against their ruling government. The radical clerics and supreme leader along with Ahmadinejad are a hateful regime that wants to control all of Islam with supporting terrorism and the building of nuclear weapons! When we finally leave Iraq they surely will come to the aid of the Shiites there and will cause civil unrest within the region! They must be stopped before they start WW3!
This would be a great question for Bush and Chenney to answer.
Life will be whatever the Iraqis want it to be. It's their country, after all.
Is the US presence over rated if there is still so much violence?
Bombs went off in Baghdad and something like 90 people died in the streets last week despite American patrols...
They can problem manage to do just as much next week when there are no US troops in Baghdad. Or maybe not. Maybe they'll find their own way through to peace. Eventually there will be a resolution and it will have to be without US troops if its going to last.
A Dictator will be in place by June 2012!
It will quickly and surely resume where it left off before Bush's fiasco of an invasion. It will be as if we were never there. There will be no significant or lasting changes. This was not a war meant to do anything but feed the Bush administration's and family egos. A mere show of misguided, misused and selfish power by a very few people holding government offices. It was and is a war without credible and sincere purpose or reason. Because of that, there will be no real change in Iraq or its people. Where, oh where, have our thinkers gone?
I truthfully don,t know which is worse Mission Accomplished or Mission Accomplice. Both are not good.
There are some people who are bound to want to test the Iraqi's ability to stop them, so the first few months will be pretty chaotic. If the Iraqis can keep respond, then it will die down. The current government will also likely be treated like a puppet government for a few years, but if they keep electing their own officials, that should eventually go away.
mike from tx. its going to look like somalia jack with a touch of north korea may god bless there soals.
What difference does it make? Cheneybush's illegal invasion and destruction of the sovereign state of Iraq has left hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead, their infrastructure in ruins, and a weak, Iranian-controlled government in charge. We created the chaos that will probably ensue after we "depart". It's like the Hotel California: "You can check out, but you can NEVER leave." Whatever happens, eventually the Iraqi people will be better off without our illegal presence , IF that ever actually happens.
Jack there will be more bombing, but I think they will be able to deal with it on their own. God bless them all
When I was in Iraq with the Army our job was to cow tow to the Iraqi people so they would tell us where THEIR enemies were. They knew where the bad guys were and did nothing. We fought tooth and nail in our revolution. You can't change people unless they want to change.
Things will get worse when we leave. And when the violence envelopes that country again Republicans will blame Obama for "not finishing the job".
It will be what the iraq people make it to be.There country there problem then.
Dear Jack, There will be problems, but what's the alternative? We Americans tend to not give anyone credit for handling their own affairs. Some of us think we should run the world. No one country ever could. It's time for the Iraqi people to run their own country however it turns out. Jim Sloan Phoenixville, Pa.
Report coming out of Iraq indicates that there is overwhelming jubilation in the streets, and that this is enogh indication that the majority of the Iraqis are yearning for the right to self-determination. Experts on the crisis believe that most Iraqis perceived us as infidels and foreign occuipiers. I believe that the departure of American soldiers will leave a gap which might plunge some parts of Iraq into a new round of bloodshed. Notwithstanding, peace and civility will return after that.
Spencer, North Carolina
Lots of Sunni-Shiite conflicts and bloodshed. Lots of dark days for many people. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.
I wish the Iraqi people all the peace they can find. My gut tells me that the civil wars will rage and this country will be devasted by the fighting between the tribes and sects.
If I were to wager on the outcome, I'd say they are going to be in total chaos within a short period of time.
When the United States leaves Iraq the result will be similar to the United States leaving South Vietnam in the 1970s.
Unquestionably, there will be a rise in violence for a few weeks. Its ultimate duration will be in large measure determined by whether the Iraqis are up to the business of defending their own country. They've ben under the US umbrella long enough to get their act together. My guess is that they will surprise us and step up. If not, prepare for chaos.
We need to make sure that the Iraqi forces are properly armed and funded. They will stand up against the insurgents and defeat them if we provided the economic air. The problem is what kind of government will come out of it. Supposidly the United States wants a democracy. The Muslims want a Theocracy and if Jesus comes, it will be a monarchy.
it's a life we have to wait and see, it will be terrible but as a nation we must stand strong and stop invading countries life. until they ask for help, jack. i hope obama is not another bush
By our standards it will probably continue to be a mess, but Jack – it is their mess and however the clerics and religious factions work it out with the democratically elected officials of this sovereign nation, it is none of our concern.
I think it will be shaky in the beginning but then the people will become stronger and stand sturdy on their own feet. The US needed to be gone out of there a looooong time ago. The military has done some good but the US soldiers have also committed a lot of bad actions that has killed, maimed, physically assaulted the innocent, and financially harmed some people in Iraq.
Iv'e heard something to the effect that 10% of the people control about 90% of the wealth, and that if it were evenly distributed over the population, within 10 years, it would revert to those same percentages. I think it will take much less time to see Iraq, or any other country with that culture to go right back to pre-Dubya conditions.
I would like to see interviews from actual Iraqis in Mosul, Fallujah, Tikrit, and Baghdad. Or hear honest opinions from our military platoon leaders and company commanders that are on the ground there and have actually trained the Iraqi security forces on whether or not the Iraqis are ready to take the "training wheels" off.
Jack - If, after almost a trillion dollars of America's treasure, over many more than 4,000 American lives lost, and 6 years of conflict, if the Iraqi Army isn't now and finally ready to assume responsibility for its own country I say let the civil unrest roll. Enough is enough. Let 'em fight it out among themselves.
Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona
Life in cities in Iraq after the US Troops leave shall hereafter and forever more be referred to and will look like DEATH.
We successfully removed the stabilizing factor in Iraq -Saddam hussein. No matter what anyone says, he kept disparate groups in one country. Now tick-tock.... its just a wating time bomb.
Total chaos. I am happy we are working our way out but I'm afraid a little time will pass and the Iraqis won't be able to handle it and they'll be begging us to come back.
It is not our fight. I am happy that we are finally out of Iraq. We would have been there for years more waiting for Iraq to take control of their country. They need to stand on their own feet and take control over their own country.
The Iraqi's will go from being killed by foreigners, to being killed by their own kind!....Not much of a choice for the average citizen.
I think things will become clamer in Iraq when US Troops leave. Maybe not right away, but War does have to come to an end sometime. Withdrawing most of the US troop will greatly help the Iraqi stand up for themselves.
After too many years of frustrating and unproductive combat operations in a war that we never should have started, the U.S is declaring that its job is done and is pulling out. Where have I heard this story before? How long will the lesson stay with us this time? Another 30 years? Will it take us that long to grow stupid enough to elect another George W. Bush?
It's the new Pottery Barn rule Jack. If anything breaks within the next ten years it Obama's fault, or so Dick Cheney will tell us.
In all honesty, the Iraqi are bound to get worse once the US troops leave. There are still regular suicide bombers in the streets and although bringing the troops home is what everybody's wanted for a good amount of years, it might not be what's best for the Iraqi people. But I'm not Iraqi or the President so I don't get to make that decision.
More of the same except that no more US Troops will be killed there.
The Sunni will begin horrific acts to assume power throughout the majority of the country. It will most likely spiral out of control before the US forces outside the cities can effectively put it to rest. Unfortunately, we've lost thousands of sons and daughters in a war that is about to get much worse on the Iraqi people before it gets better.
Who cares. Crime is up in every major city in the US- we have to lay off police here because the cities are broke, because we are spending money policing over there....hello- what is wrong with this picture.
I am glad that the US is moving out of Iraq. It a different situation if they need our help, but Iraq belongs to Iraqs and they should be able to take care of their own. Six years was a long enough time to learn since soldiers basic combat training is only eight weeks
Jack, I think it will go back to being the way it was. I honestly feel like if we were there for 100 years, it would still go back to they way it was. The sooner the better should have been the motto concerning an Iraq pullout. Love your segment, btw.
But on the other hand, if they want to keep having war against each other then so be it. It is their choice to make things better or make things worse for themselves.
There will probably be chaos in Iraq.
Absolute chaos until the strongest group of opposing factions comes out on top, be they the best or the worst for the country.
Not good I'm sure but I think a more important question would be: What is life likely to be like in US without the presence of U.S. combat forces in Iraq'a cities?
I don't want to sound callous, but I realize that I'm about to do just that. I don't care what life will be like in Iraqi cities, towns, or villages. I would like, of course, to see them happy, healthy, and friendly toward the U.S. They owe us that. But if, after six years of thorough assistance with everything from public water supply, to politics, to police and military strength, they still can't help themselves, I do not care, except to be outraged that our men and women will have died in vain.
Life in Iraq without US troops will be as chaotic as with every other vaccum left by colonial imperialists exit from a presence that left few families without fatalities and lifelong injuries. Life in Iraq will be poisoned for generations by the ignorant Christian zealotry of those that sent those troops into this sea of perfidy.
I'm only 15 and I'm watching this on CNN right now as I write this. Personaly I fell that,from previous experiences, that the Iraqi enemy will see that there is an open spot once we leave and just attack. I mean isn't that one of the reasons we were staying In Iraq? That's all I gotta say. Good job Mr. Cafferty!
i think it will be terrible but they will learn how to take control of their country. it will be very tense but its a life will wait to see.
The military has done a great Job and I am proud of them.
We have been in Iraq so long and understandably the people there may need time to adjust to our absence. They looked to us for security not only as a country but in there communities. I see fear and unsuredness as thier new way of life.
My fear is Iraq will dissolve into all out civil war. Then the GOP will screech from the mountaintops. At this point Bush’s illegal war based on lies will become Obama’s fault and we’ll be subjected to an onslaught from Cheney and his daughter. Let's hope I'm wrong.
What a monumental event- another step in the Presidential transition. I think that things will slowly unravel a bit without the U.S. presence while the Iraqi government gains its grasp. Hopefully things will turn around if that does occur.
I think its about time for the iraq people to fight for themselves and fight for their right to live. They don't need the American to teach them that. US troops should go home and have a well deserve rest.
Who cares, Jack! The US can not police every country. Iraq's security is in it's own hand as US in the hands of our forces. I can't wait to see the troops home.
Don't expect the people of Iraq to act any different than they did after Saddam was toppled, fighting among themselves without a babysitter to stop them.
Jack, the Iraqi government has settled nothing amongst themselves. Malaki is next to powerless and biased.
It is not going to be pretty: gradual descent into chaos and perhaps even civil war.
Thank you for this question.
I blieve that the majority of Iraqi citizens still resent the occupation of their country by a foreign military presence, even though many understadably have mixed feelings about it.
They need to choose their own government leaders and be aided in reconstruction of their country that has been terribly destroyed by this unjust war, and the deaths, maiming and displacement of so many of them certainly were a major cause of resentment, and justifiably so.
to say that people there are beginning to hate americans as much as they hate each other is a gross understatement. it is highly possible that viloence will continue in iraq, but hey, we will at least know that this time, the agressor wasnt the united states.
It will probably return to the brutal state it was before the invasion only the faces and names will be different on a new deck of cards!
As it would have been had we pulled out last year, the year prior to that or the year prior to that. It will be a bloody, factionalized mess. Saddam was a monster but he kept the British patchwork together. Without another such monster that patchwork will come apart at the seams. We were arrogant and pathetic fools to begin that war. It has cost our nation and Iran thousands of lives. It has drained our economy. And it has increased terrorism and hatred of America. The Right will point their crooked fingers at Obama and blame him. Bush and his minions had a great talent for bring ruin to this nation but no ideas for repair. Hopefully Obama will have resolve despite whatever bull Cheney spouts next.
Barry, Palm Desert, CA
NOW HEAR THIS!!! the iraqi's are expecting our pulling out of cities and there is already violence. the iraqi's have waited the US out, and now that we're about to pull our troops out the violence is escalating. It will not be long and they will be in full civil war, instigated and supported by Iran, or another saddam comes into power,,, thats all folks!!!
it's likely to have a civil war– which in turn may see a rise in a party who opposes the reforms the u.s. put in place, who objects to u.s. ideals altogether, and may ultimately revert back to a hard line leader like saddam hussein
If Americans troop withdraw their troops from the cities in Iraq, there will be kidnapping of people in the cities and the cities will turn violent like Somalia where the central government will be very weak.
The withdrawing will give room for terrorists to organise themselves for more explosions across the country.
Probably more violent, as they begin to establish routines, fend for themselves, establish new ordinances & maintain current laws. Just like parents having to let go of our children at some point in their lives; the U.S. needs to let go & the Iraqi people will either stand by themselves or fall. I’m betting they will find the stability necessary & stand on their own.
jack, its a slam dunk over there after we leave. more bloodshed thanks to bush, cheney,rumsfeld and other gop players that fell into the idea of wmds.. i feel sorry for the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire after we lwave .. i just hope their army will bring chaos in check so they can hopefully get on with their lives,,their lives will never be the same and in some way we will bear some responsibility for basically destroying a lot of their infrastucture, homes and mosques.. may thet live in peace.. ben stockton, calif
As soon as we leave there will be more killing We should of never went there to begin with When will these morons learn that Iraq had nothing to do with 911 Bush and Cheaney just wanted to oil for theire friends aswell as themselfs
Life in Iraq after US troops leave? Are you kidding? The Sunnis and Shiites can't wait to kill each other. The recent increase in bombings underscores their hatred for each other. Nothing has changed. George Bush' s war of choice and subsequent strategy to bring democracy to this woebegone country were both inevitable failures from the word go. The US should exit from Iraq before this disaster becomes worse. Otherwise we will be mired down forever in this unfortiunate situation.
I haven't been there so I'm not sure what to expect but I'm sure we'll see if America simply fed them fish or actually taught them how to fish.
I think it will be okay, Jack. It'll be nice that some Iraqi children will experience childhood without foreign occupation. I wish the Iraqi people all the best and hope they get off to a good start.
I believe that the Iraqis will be relieved. I understand why they are rejoicing, I would too. Who wants troops to be outside there door 24/7 demanding them to live there lives in a certain way? Who wants to hear gun shots every morning; scared to let there child go outside, because they might get shot and killed by a stray bullet? There won't be anymore raiding houses. Let the PEACE began.
Jack, I think that once our troops are gone, life in Iraq will become whatever that sovereign nations people want it to be. Through their actions and involvement in aquiring and installing a pro-active government to represent all the nations people and religeons. Of course if this fails they may be forced to do as we did, but I don't remember any foreign nations involving themselves in OUR civil war!
Just a thought from Maine....now back to my lobsters.
The people who say the invasion was illegal are just morons. It was sanctioned by the UN. You know, the UN you probably love so much. Plus Saddam violated cease fire agreements over a dozen times. Add to that that he used chemical weapons ON HIS OWN PEOPLE! Yet it was illegal to you appeasers. Appeasers are responsible for the bulk of the 6 million Jews who died at the hands of Hitler, and for the bulk of the 100 million who have died at the hands of Communism. How many do you want to die this century at the hands of Islamo-Fascism and Communism? 300 million?
Hopefully it will work out, but it will be a rough one.
Let us all hope the Unites States Military has been successful in the education of Iraqi Security forces in the arts of counterinsurgency, war and occupation. The Iraqi government quelling any uprisings while preserving democracy could prove a demonstration of the regime's solidity to other nations in the region and the citizens looking for peace at home.
I'm not sure Jack if your question is directed at the lifes of the Iraqi's or the lives of the U.S. troops that have been dealing with this mess ever since bush & cheney started it, thats not too say that Iraqi's haven't had too deal with it also. As for our troops, can you say light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing that the odds of you coming out of this crap alive, well how can life be anything but better! As for the lives of the ordinary Iraqi citizen, well that depends on the learship of their goverment, can you say ship without a rudder
Dave from NH.
The fundamental tenet of democracy is that people have the right to determine their own government. If it doesn't ultimately prove to be modeled after ours, then that's their choice. There are sure to be Iraqi lives lost in settling the inevitable conflicts in self-determination. The Iraqis need their own patriots to face their own struggles to have any feeling of being a sovereign nation, a country they feel like fighting for and defending, and not just an American puppet. However difficult it proves to be, they need to sort it out themselves.
it means the outrageous amount of money our government has spent their can be used to help rebuild our economy. Is it not obvious that our economy started an extreme downward spiral after bush declared victory in iraq and then sent all our tax money to keep the trrops there
Jack, just look how happy the Iraquis are that we're leaving – they seem to think they'll be just fine. I think they're trying to tell us something. Oh God, are we like one of those guys who just doesn't know when to leave?!! How embarrassing.
I imagine they will pick up where they left off ,mainly having conflicts with each other. Let's just say we didn't do them a great favor by invading them.
Let us hope with all the lost lives on both sides, the people in Iraq are finally able to relax and fair well. It won't be worth the cost, but will be a just ending.
There will be choas in the streets. Iraqi security forces will not be able to adequately handle the violence that will engulf Iraq. The past week has given us a glimpse of what is to come.
Life was terrible under their dictator as a sovereign nation, and now it will be terrible under their dysfunctional "democratic" government, shoved down their throats by us. With the finest fighting men and women on this earth, the problems were and are many, what do you honestly expect when they leave the cities, much less pull out completely? We can only hope and pray I am wrong, God only knows, the Iraqis deserve some peace, productivity, stability and happiness in their lives!
The issue never really was about their form of government, or liberating their people. It was about who was going to control their oil. We won't be out of Iraq until we turn the oil fields over to them.
The withdrawn of U.S troops from cities could reduce the rate of horrific acts in the cities and the total withdrawn from Iraq would return the country to its normal life under Saddam.