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August 03, 2009



Thank you--these are lessons hard-won and worth spreading. Safe home.

Faisal Kadri

These are wise and moral lessons, I resonate particularly with lesson #6 side two, the responsibility towards Iraqi casualties.
To my mind there is still one important political lesson unlearnt: To leave good seeds behind to help the region heal itself, and I don't mean patronizing aid and training done in the short term interest of the United States. In both Iraq and Afghanistan the United States created and is leaving behind exclusive democracies, excluding large sectors of society perceived or labeled as threatening, this does not only compromise democracy but also destabilizes the region in the long run. The lesson unlearnt is to know the advantage of long term policy and how quickly can the short term advantage disappear.


I really enjoyed your article about lessons of war. I have been outraged by the Iraq war since the beginning, and still outraged by our ongoing military machine and the costs of maintaining this type of imperialism. I am also shocked about the media omissions about what is really happening in the Middle East at the hands of the US. (Yourself excluded, of course) Glad you are hanging up the war journeys and home safely. Your old friend from Hayden and prom date, Judi


I think we should have a memorial for the civilian victims of war, starting with Vietnam. List the names, ages, cause of death of all Vietnamese civilians while we were in their country, and etch it in marble walls on the National Mall.

Then move on to all the other wars we got involved with, including Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Maybe then someone in DC would learn something about the reality of war.


From the comments it appears we should resurrect Saddam and put him back in power. Bush, the son and his team, did not know how to fight a war. They never fough in a war unlike Buish the elder. Remember that guy Bremer they put in charge of Iraq, he read a book on MacArthur's time in Japan to figure out how to govern Iraq, a different culture and country. Plenty of other stupid things were done by that team that prolonged the fighting, cost lives, cost money and kept us there long after we should have left. However, that said the world is better off without Saddam despite what the left wants to think.


Thank you for this article on the lessons your learned about war. Unfortunatly, the people who need to understand these lessons have no clue and are not really interested.


Thank you.

Faisal Kadri

If there will be a dictator in Iraq, it will be a pro-Iranian Islamist. No like of Saddam will come back anytime soon. The better choice is a liberal democracy, unfortunately this is stifled by Iraqi allies of the United States.



Matt gonzales

Yea! Mike Thatp, the editor who called veterans and active duty personel "loosers" is back. Listen, Mike, my Dad was in Vietnam, shot twice. You are no war veteran. You're a guy who likes to tell tall tales which are very long winded and never read. Stop tying yourself to the men and women who are in a war. Funny how you went to the wrong war. Why not Afghanistan, Mikey?

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Baghdad Observer is written by McClatchy journalists staffing the Baghdad bureau.

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