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SJSU students react to the end of combat operations in Iraq
By Marlon Maloney
August 31, 2010
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President Obama called for the end of all combat operations in Iraq on Tuesday in a 20 minute speech addressing the American public.
“Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country,” he said.
Ruben Sanchez, a junior animation and illustration major, said he was glad the war was over.
“That’s great,” Sanchez said. “It’s been going on a long time. I hope things will work out diplomatically instead of the use of force in the long run.”
In his speech, Obama praised the American troops for their service in Iraq and addressed the ongoing war in Afghanistan, saying the transition out of the country would begin next year.
“Our troops are the steel in our ship of state,” he said. “And though our nation may be travelling through rough waters, they give us confidence that our course is true and that beyond the pre-dawn darkness, better days lie ahead.”
Grant Corvin, a senior animation and illustration major, said he is glad to know that many American troops are coming home.
“I had a friend in the Navy,” he said. “He would go back and forth frequently to Iraq, but it’s good to know he’ll be back home safely for a while.”
Nathan Le, a junior aerospace engineering major said he thinks leaving Iraq will be less of a strain on America’s resources.
“They weren’t really doing anything there and it was just a lot of money spent on these resources,” Le said. “By staying there, we were holding their hand when they should have already gone through training.”
Anesia Canty, a graduate student in library and information science said she’s really happy to know that it’s over, but she thinks there might be more to it than just leaving, such as leaving a long-term effect on their country.
“I feel sorry for the people there – for things we did adversely during the occupancy, but in the long run this was probably the better choice,” Canty said.
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“SJSU students react to the end of combat operations in Iraq”
Ted Rudow III,MA says:
September 6, 2010
President Obama declared an end to the combat mission in Iraq Tuesday night in the second Oval Office address of his presidency. Although tens of thousands of US troops, special operations forces and private contractors remain in Iraq, Obama announced that Operation Iraqi Freedom is now officially over.
While the US invasion and occupation of Iraq over the past seven years has inflicted multiple disasters on the country, many argue that the US assault on Iraq really began twenty years ago with the US-imposed economic sanctions. The best estimate of “excess child mortality” — the number of children under five who died during the sanctions who would not have under Iraq’s economy and policies before sanctions — is between 670,000 and 880,000. Very few people have been aware of exactly how the U.S. worked to maintain these sanctions over more than a decade.
But with 50,000 combat-ready American troops still in country, the occupation seems far from over. The Obama administration will insist that those are not combat soldiers engaged in a combat mission. But if you’ve got twenty or thirty or forty thousand foreign troops stationed on your soil, I mean, if it looks like an occupation, and it smells like an occupation, and it sounds like an occupation, it’s an occupation.
Ted Rudow III,MA
class of 1996