Viewpoints on staying in Iraq - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Viewpoints on staying in Iraq

August 27, 2006

Albany - - It's been over three years since the U.S. invaded Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the course of the war, over 2600 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq, at least 78 of those soldiers were from Georgia. Most Georgia lawmakers stand behind President Bush's call to stay the course.

March 20th, 2003. The day it all began. It's now August, 2006.

"I don't think we expected to be there that long, but pulling out right now is not the right thing to do," says Tracey Bernier.

Ask just about anyone and you'd get different viewpoints about our soldiers still being in Iraq.

"We need to pack up our troops and leave. The reason being is that it hasn't solved anything all this time and I don't think it will do anything in the long run," says Desrick Daniels.

Although there's continued bloodshed and chaos in parts of Iraq, the majority of Georgia lawmakers remain in support of the President who says the work is not over yet.

"I think people want peace of mind and comfort to think that there's some type of exit strategy. Unfortunately with the military, we're not going to get that information specifically what the game plan is and probably shouldn't get it. It would be going over to Iraq and they'll hear it as well," says Rep. Ed Rynders.

Although 6 disagree,  Rynders is one of seven Georgia House representatives who believe we need to stay in Iraq.

"I believe that if we keep Iraq and the terrorists on the defensive, then there's less of a likelihood that we're going to have to defend our borders here," Rynders says.

It's a tough sell to some.

"I think that they need to let everybody from the U.S. come home, people are dying, nothing's being accomplished and I feel like it's a waste of time," Daniels adds.

But an easy buy for others.

"Well they're over there now so we gotta finish the job they went over there to do in the first place," Bernier says.

Even though there's no timetable of when it will end.

In May, 4300 soldiers of Georgia's 48th Brigade returned home after a year in Iraq. That was the largest deployment of Georgia's national Guard since World War II.

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