Retired Army colonel explains opposition to Iraq War

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Attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others dead reminded retired Army Col. Ann Wright of dangerous situations she encountered while serving overseas for the U.S. State Department.

Decisions by the federal government to keep embassies open during conflict – which Wright called questionable – put civilian diplomats in harm’s way, she said Monday while speaking at the University of South Carolina Aiken.

She delivered two lectures: one at USC Aiken and a second at the Augusta library headquarters. The events were sponsored by the CSRA Peace Alliance and Aiken Peace.

“I believe we as citizens really do need to challenge what our government is doing,” she said in Aiken. “Look at it from the international viewpoint, as what the world sees the United States is doing.”

The 29-year Army and Army Reserve veteran and former diplomat is an outspoken critic of the Iraq War. She resigned from the State Department on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq after writing a letter of dissent to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Wright said Baghdad was a modern Middle East city that was unjustly invaded. The war left an unstable, fractionalized country in its aftermath, she said.

“Saddam Hussein is not there, and that’s probably a good thing, but if you look at the life of the people of Iraq, I would say our invasion did not result in anything the Iraqi people wanted,” Wright said.

Wright said she received hundreds of letters from government colleagues supporting her decision to resign and oppose the war. She said she had some disagreements on military policy with all eight presidents she served, but Iraq was a breaking point.

“At a certain point, many of us say, ‘Wait a minute.’ There might be some other ways we should be protecting our nation,” she said.

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Ginot
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Ginot 11/19/12 - 06:54 pm
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Sworn to duty

Wow, how Un-American can you get.

Jake
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Jake 11/19/12 - 08:02 pm
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American

Some people equate being a "true American" with acquiescing to every edict out of Wash DC. I applaud her right to her view of the situation.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 11/19/12 - 08:32 pm
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5
"city that was unjustly

"city that was unjustly invaded by the U.S."

Didn't she MEAN to say was unjustly invaded by the UNITIED NATIONS COALITION AFTER AN AFFIRMATIVE VOTE BY THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL AND A CORRESPONDING AFFIRMATIVE VOTE BY THE CONGRESS, AND SOME CORRESPONDING AFFIRMATIVE VOTES BY THE GOVERNING BODIES OF MOST OF OUR ALLIES.

Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 11/19/12 - 09:02 pm
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Seems that Colonel Wright is

Seems that Colonel Wright is following in the footsteps of Cynthia McKinney. Tupac and Biggie.....

Dixieman
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Dixieman 11/19/12 - 09:40 pm
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Dixieman has 1,000,000,000 points

She's retired; she can say anything she wants. Even dumb stuff I disagree with.
And she just did.

Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 11/19/12 - 09:46 pm
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If you get another

If you get another 1,000,000,000 points can you get your parking validated at the brand spanking new parking deck?

Tullie
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Tullie 11/20/12 - 06:19 am
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Dixieman said:

Dixieman has 1,000,000,000 points

Ha, I see that you have 939 points. Does it rollover when you reach a certain number?

I think you are messing with us..you know tell people something enough and they will belive it type thing.

Gage Creed, I don't think anyone will be getting parking deck ticket svalidated. Paul Simon wants every penny he can get. I bet that man saves his toe nails.

ralphinga
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ralphinga 11/20/12 - 09:52 am
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Isolationist Perspective

Can't we can all just hold hands and sing "Kumbaya"? The belief of this person is that no war can be just. I would write a letter today supporting her decision to resign from the State Department years ago. A better question is, why did she ever want to work for State? Did she think that her pacifist tendencies made her a better employee?

avidreader
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avidreader 11/20/12 - 10:09 am
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What is a True Patriot?

Concerning the results in Iraq -- and Afghanistan -- is appears to me, in retrospect, that Col. Wright was the voice of reason and her premonitions have been proved to be wise. It sounds to me as if many of the comments above are a call for all defense department officers to simply follow blindly and never question. I see Col. Wright as a true partiot. She stands by her principles.

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 11/20/12 - 12:25 pm
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I agree w/ Jake

She is entitled to her position, and others are equally entitled to disagree. She is not in a position of shaping/implementing policy, so who cares?

soapy_725
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soapy_725 11/20/12 - 06:25 pm
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Blind patriotism???
Unpublished

We have 1917 and 1939 as great examples of patriots blindly following their corrupt, land greedy, global dividing political leaders.

Evil political leaders does not equate to evil military men and women. Unless you are a cool aide drinker. You can be proud of those that serve and not drink the political cool aide. When you are active military you carry out the MISSION. You do not judge the MISSSION. History does an excellent job of judging who benefits from WAR. And it certainly is not the enlisted soldier.

The middle east is not a treat to our freedom. Washington DC is t he greatest threat to our freedom. The middle east is regime destabilization and the control of the world's cheapest OIL.

We knew Saddam had WMD's. We gave them to him. The politicians knew exactly what he had and how many he had.

We knew Bin Ladden had WMD's. We gave them to him.

The blind leading the blind. You demonize Hitler and yet fall for the same B.S. from Washington D.C.

Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 11/21/12 - 03:48 pm
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From what I read...Colonel

From what I read...Colonel Wright seems to believe that everyone has a right to her opinion.

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