EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

June 14, 2014

Locals: Deploying troops again would be mistake

LAWRENCE — U.S. contemplation of military action in Iraq to quell the fast-moving insurgency because of our nation’s heavy investment in Iraq’s future has many local residents upset and concerned.

Lawrence resident Deirdre McCombs said it would be a “waste of time.”

“I hate saying it’s a waste of time but it is,” she said. “I mean what would be the point?”

The al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have quickly overrun Iraq’s second-largest city of Mosul, Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit and smaller communities, as well as military and police bases — often meeting little resistance from state security forces. The militants have vowed to press on to Baghdad.

The fast-moving rebellion, which also draws support from former Saddam-era figures and other disaffected Sunnis, has emerged as the biggest threat to Iraq’s stability since the U.S. withdrawal.

The last U.S. troops withdrew in 2011 after more than eight years of war.

“We were there for so long. How would this be any different if we sent troops back,” McCombs said.

North Andover resident Mark Brown agreed.

“We can’t fix the world’s problems,” he said. “We never should have been there to begin with.”

Brown understands why some people would consider sending troops into Iraq as a good option.

“Obviously it is in our best interest from an international safety aspect for Iraq to be safe and secure,” he said. “How do we do that though? It just seems impossible.”

“We have done what we can. I honestly don’t think we can do anymore,” McCombs said. “I feel for Iraq. I wouldn’t want to live in a war torn country. I just don’t know if our help will really improve anything for them.”

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