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U.S. ex-general calls for Iraq pull out


WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. general who used to head the National Security Agency says the only way to stabilize the Middle East is to leave Iraq.

Retired three star Lt. Gen. William Odom, writing for NiemanWatchdog.org, wrote that while President George W. Bush wants to bring democracy and stability to the Middle East, the only way to achieve that goal is for the U.S. armed forces to get out of Iraq now.

Odom, one of the most respected U.S. military analysts and a prominent figure at the conservative Hudson Institute in Washington, wrote, "We have seen most of our allies stand aside and engage in Schadenfreude over our painful bog-down in Iraq. Winston Churchill's glib observation, 'the only thing worse that having allies is having none,' was once again vindicated.

"There is no chance that our allies will join us in Iraq," he wrote. "... Iraq is the worst place to fight a battle for regional stability. Whose interests were best served by the U.S. invasion of Iraq in the first place? It turns out that Iran and al-Qaida benefited the most, and that continues to be true every day U.S. forces remain there."

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