Last night in a landmark national address, President Barack Obama marked the end of America’s combat mission in Iraq, saying that “we have met our responsibilities. Now it’s time to turn the page.” Yet, as much as Obama and his administration would like to turn the page in order to focus on other issues, Iraq is still a novel left very much unfinished. Although the president sought to reassure doubters about Iraq’s stability, many feel that Iraq may be again led down a path toward destruction. Some of the people who are being the most vocal about their fears are Iraqis who have been forced to flee their country in order to escape the deaths that may have awaited them had they stayed. These Iraqis perhaps have a greater degree of understanding about this conflict than most, and with many still in contact with remaining family members in Iraq, they are also able to keep up to date with current happenings on the streets there.
One Iraqi, who chose to remain anonymous for security reasons, told The List Project that
“it’s going to be more chaos and civil war. The police are corrupt, the army still untrained and can’t handle this kind of responsibility, as evidenced by what happened a week before the withdrawal, where 250 people died in one day in car bombs in 4 or 5 different governorates…My family is still there and witnessing this chaos everyday. Who will protect the people? To date a new government has not yet formed and the political parties (are) still fighting over the Prime Minister’s position.”
Many other Iraqis share these same feelings. There seems to be an impending dread about what the future holds for Iraqis who have seen so many broken promises in the seven years since combat operations in Iraq officially began. It is difficult for them to not become skeptical once more.