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Three years ago, last Monday, U.S. troops plunged into Iraq, marking the beginning of the war.

According to, 2,316 U.S. troops have died in Iraq and 30,000 to more than 100,000 Iraqis have died since 2003.

President George W. Bush said he believes the troops will be successful.

“If I didn’t believe we could succeed, I wouldn’t be there. I wouldn’t put those kids there,” Bush said. “I meet with too many families who’ve lost a loved one to not be able to look them in the eye and say, ‘We’re doing the right thing,’ and we are doing a right thing.”

However, Richard Hutchinson, an assistant professor of sociology, said it is difficult to be optimistic when it comes to the war in Iraq.

“Good progress has been made, but also terrible things have happened, most of which were completely unanticipated by the administration that launched the war,” Hutchinson said. “There was a series of good things that happened, such as the development of the constitution and the national election, but at the same time the insurgency has continued to grow stronger.”

Hutchinson said there are a lot of negative trends happening in Iraq.

“The stated of goal was to liberate Iraq and they would live happily ever after with a nice stable democracy but nothing vaguely like that has happened,” Hutchinson said.

He also said he is not surprised that the public has gone sour with the war.

“It hasn’t gone anything like it was supposed to,” Hutchinson said. “The Shiites and the Kurds have dominated the process by changing the army largely into a Shiite and Kurdish army, leaving the cities to believe that we don’t have any stake in this government.”

Hutchinson said if some decisive leadership among the Sunnis and the Shiites was to come about it is possible in a couple of years for Iraq to obtain a better footing.

“It is difficult to see that happening right now. The signs that the political leadership have been giving are not very encouraging,” Hutchinson said. “It is difficult to see how it is in the U.S. power to bring about a victory, because it is not in our hands.”

Hutchinson said Iraqi independence is in the hands of the leaders of the groups in that country.

“If they decide they don’t want to do what it takes to unify the country, then I don’t see how we can bring it about on our own,” Hutchinson said.

Students are also voicing their feelings concerning the three-year war in Iraq.

“I feel worse than ever about it because so much more information is available about our mistakes, what we have done and what we have failed to do,” Christina Linza, a senior speech major, said. “The troops need to stay there because we need to finish what we started. We certainly could have done a whole lot better.”

Other students feel the cause of the war is sufficient reason to be in Iraq.

“It’s necessary for us to be over there if we’re going to bring democracy to Iraq,” Liz Guy, a freshman biology major, said.

Many students, however, do not feel they know enough information on the war in Iraq to comment, but have faith in the leaders of our country.

“The public isn’t being sufficiently informed of our progress in Iraq,” Shannon Dowling, a junior political science major, said. “I have faith in our country and our president, that he will make the right decisions in the best interest of our country.”

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