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Poll: Readers oppose forcing exit from Iraq

By Steve Stewart
steve@decaturdaily.com · 340-2444

“Our troops need to be in Iraq,” a teenager whose cousin was killed there wrote in expressing opposition to demands for a U.S. troop withdrawal.

Ariel Allen, 16, of Priceville sent an e-mail commenting on a Daily online poll.

Most people who answered the poll said Congress should not pass pending legislation ordering a withdrawal by next spring.

Of 260 respondents, 143 (55 percent) opposed the legislation; 117 favored it. The two-day poll was unscientific. It ended Saturday.

“I say that President Bush is doing a great job,” Allen wrote. “Our troops need to be in Iraq. This is the only way to make sure that the fighting stays overseas and does not come over here.

“Within a week of withdrawing our troops, I think we on United States soil will be attacked again. If we back down now, then all the troops that have died (my cousin Jon-Erik Loney included) would have died in vain. Then these terrorists will see that they can push us around.”

A roadside bomb killed Loney, a 21-year-old Army corporal from Hartselle, on Nov. 28.

Five years’ troop deaths do not equal one day’s deaths in World War II, his cousin said.

“Most people would have us believe that the war in Iraq is a lost cause. Any war that is against terrorism or is trying to free a country is not a lost cause.”

But Jane Wilcoxson of Hartselle wrote in favor of pulling out.

“I fear that no matter when we exit,” she said, “the results will be as they were in Vietnam — the enem(ies) will pour in and consume the country within days. I think that winning is not an option for us, but saving American lives is. I wonder why we didn’t exit when ‘Mission accomplished’ was declared.”

David Templeton of Decatur asked what war opponents think will happen when the U.S. pulls out — “that these terrorist groups will lay down their weapons and quit fighting?”

People in Arab countries cheered the 3,000 American deaths from terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, he wrote.

“As a parent of a Marine that was there in Washington, D.C., on 9/11 and did a tour in Iraq, I have to wonder what they will tell those other parents — why these 3,500 service members died for nothing.

“Don’t cut and run like Vietnam so that a bunch of politicians can be elected. Finish the mission over there, and come home with honor.”

Sally H. Mitchell of Talladega wrote that “a specific date for withdrawal from Iraq would only tell the terrorists to pull back and wait until the U.S. leaves.”

Similarly, George Dale Upton of Decatur said that “if you put a timetable on pulling your troops out, then the enemy will just sit low and wait until you are out before taking over the void.”

He said the U.S. should forget political correctness, “clean the place up like Gen. (Douglas) MacArthur did Japan, and then get out so the people can run their own country.”

President Truman’s decision to drop two atomic bombs on Japan “saved lives, and it made Japan a much better country in the world,” Upton said.

David W. Kelley of Decatur said a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would bring more terrorist attacks against the U.S. and its allies.

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