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Video: Mixed emotions over Iraq announcement

  1. Transcript of: Mixed emotions over Iraq announcement

    LESTER HOLT, anchor: President Obama 's announcement yesterday that all American troops will come home from Iraq by year's end has a war weary nation pondering some difficult questions. Chief among them, ' Was it worth it ?' Strictly by the numbers, it

    has cost a lot: 4,469 Americans killed, more than 32,000 wounded, at a price of more than $700 billion. In the process, a tyrant, Saddam Hussein , was toppled, but the elected government now in charge is weak, and, in the view of many, corrupt. And now as the war ends, those Americans who fought in it and those who lost precious loved ones because of it have a lot to say. NBC 's Mike Taibbi has more.

    MIKE TAIBBI reporting: the date certain by which all those serving in Iraq will be home for good. The war's veterans welcome the news. From South Carolina ...

    Across the country, they've been waiting for this: It's about time. We've been wanting this for a while now.

    Unidentified Man #1: ...to Washington state .

    TAIBBI: We did our job. We're coming home .

    Unidentified Man #2: The military spouses and children are thrilled, of course.

    TAIBBI: And it's going to be wonderful having everybody reunited again.

    Unidentified Woman: It's coming to an end. That it's just a relief for everybody.

    Unidentified Boy: And even a mother who lost her son to the war, Mary Convoy , whose son Jack was killed in 2006 , is happy now for the parents of other sons and daughters who will soon be home.

    TAIBBI: I have a sense of relief. I'm not going to lie. I feel like we did a really good job in Iraq .

    Ms. MARY CONVOY: But early on, a controversial war that demanded no national commitment was what some called a friends and family war, meaning only friends and family of those who were serving would likely care deeply and personally about how it was going. Retired Colonel Jack Jacobs , an NBC analyst and

    TAIBBI: Most people don't have any connection. There's no skin in the game. You have to knock on something like 150 doors today before you'll find a household from which somebody is serving.

    Congressional Medal of Honor recipient: Thus, much of the country soured quickly on a war that seemed endless or pointless and unquestionably costly. No surprise then that many greeted the announced ending of the war with bitterness. Retired Sergeant Chris

    Colonel JACK JACOBS, Retired: We're losing family members that -- for no reason now, and I lost three of my best friends out there.

    TAIBBI: And Laura Sharma in Los Angeles , who'll get to hug her son in a few

    Tschida, injured himself: We should have never been there.

    Sergeant CHRIS TSCHIDA, Retired: The war and now the post-war as controversial as ever. Mike Taibbi , NBC News, New

    TAIBBI:

Photos: 2010 drawdown

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  1. U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicles cross the border from Iraq into Kuwait on Wednesday, Aug. 18. The U.S. Army's 4th Stryker Brigade is the last combat unit to leave Iraq as part of the drawdown of U.S. forces. President Barack Obama had set a goal of reducing the number of American troops in Iraq to 50,000 troops by Sept. 1. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A U.S. soldier waves from his Stryker armored vehicle after crossing the border into Kuwait. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. A soldier dismantles a machine gun mounted on his Stryker immediately after crossing the border on Aug. 16. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. U.S. Army soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade race toward the border on Aug. 18. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Stryker armored vehicles through southern Iraq en route to Kuwait on Aug. 15. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Soldiers from C Company, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division gather before the convoy to Kuwait. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. A member of the U.S. Army's 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, carries an American flag after a departure ceremony at Forward Operating Base Constitution in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, on Aug. 7. (Moises Saman / The New York Times via Redux Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. The U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division band plays during a ceremony marking the formal withdrawal from the last checkpoints they helped staff in the Green Zone of Baghdad on June 1. (Holly Pickett / Redux Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. U.S. military Humvees are ready to be shipped out of Iraq at a staging yard at Camp Victory on July 6 in Baghdad. Everything from helicopters to printer cartridges are being wrapped and stamped and shipped out of Iraq in one of the most monumental withdrawal operations the American military has ever carried out. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Workers sort through broken computer equipment that will be destroyed at a demilitarizing facility for unusable, un-transportable U.S. military equipment at Camp Victory on June 24 in Baghdad. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Workers operate machinery that destroys damaged concrete blast walls at the U.S. Joint Base Balad, north of Baghdad, on July 3. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Soldiers from 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, clear their weapons before boarding a military aircraft in Baghdad, as they begin their journey home on Aug. 13. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Soldiers from 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, board a military aircraft in Baghdad on Aug 13. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. An Air Force airman talks on a radio as Army soldiers from 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division prepare to board a military aircraft in Baghdad on Aug 13. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Soldiers from 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, are seen on board a military aircraft in Baghdad on Aug. 13, as they begin their journey home. (Maya Alleruzzo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. U.S. Army soldiers carry the flag-draped transfer case containing the remains of a U.S. soldier out of a C-17 during a dignified transfer on the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base on Aug. 17 in Dover, Del. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image:
    Maya Alleruzzo / AP
    Above: Slideshow (16) US troops leave Iraq - 2010 drawdown
  2. Image:
    Khalid Mohammed / AP
    Slideshow (5) US troops leave Iraq - 2011 drawdown

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