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Published 11:57 pm Sunday, March 23, 2008

By Staff
Remembering Iraq War
Is it hard to believe that five years ago this week the United States began bombing raids against Iraq, starting a war that toppled a dictator but also took so many young lives?
The political arguments for and against the war in Iraq have been plentiful in the months since that first bomb was dropped on Baghdad.
In all, this has been a war of contradictions.
We have made mistakes, but we have also made great inroads toward democracy in the country. And our soldiers have acted bravely and honorably to serve their country.
We know now that the reasons we went to war – because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction – have been proven wrong. But we also know that Hussein – who was guilty of mass killings of his own people – has been put to death and will never again be able to harm innocent Iraqis.
The recent surge in U.S. troops is working to decrease the violence, but the Iraqi government has failed to meet the benchmarks set by the U.S. government to achieve democracy.
Our soldiers have helped rebuild the country, but we have also seen so much destruction and loss of life among Iraqis at the hands of terrorists.
Any war is full of contradictions, but we can be certain of one thing: Our U.S. soldiers, and the small number of coalition troops helping them, have been brave in their attempts to bring democracy to Iraq. We have lost too many young lives – and many more have been nearly ruined by injuries – but those soldiers deserve our support each and every day.
Even now, several Escambia County residents are serving in Iraq, and we pray for their safety along with their families every day.

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