Local Connection: Iraq War

By Rick Blangiardi

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- The pullout of American troops from Iraq is a momentous event for Hawaii and the nation.

This nine year war meant repeated deployments for Hawaii-based and many Hawaii-born personnel.

In fact, soldiers based here were among the last to come home.

Some people are hesitant to discuss the reality of the Iraq occupation.

Politicians have used the pullout to attack the president. The truth is that he honorably continued a mission begun by his predecessor.

Others have avoiding raising questions about the war to avoid any disrespect for the men and women who bravely served our country.

The truth is, we were there on a nation-building exercise.

That's a fairly new game in military operations, and hopefully, we've learned a lot from the experience. One thing we've learned already is that there is never a good time to leave, yet we fail if we stay forever.

At some point, we had to leave the Iraqi's to their own devices, hoping they will make democracy work.

No one knows - no one *can* know, at this point - whether our actions in Iraq will work out for the best.

But it's worth remembering the US eliminated the assassin, Saddam Hussein. We will now have to wait to see if our nine years of sacrifice was worth it and if the Iraqi's can sustain a democratic republic.

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