.
March 18th, 2008
01:24 PM ET

Shock & Awe: 5 Years Later

March 19th marked five years since the start of the Iraq war. I remember the moment the war started, and exactly where I was... I had been working at CNN for a short time. The mood in the newsroom that day was tense, yet oddly quiet. I had been running around gathering research, printing the latest wires... waiting for word from Baghdad.

ALT TEXT

AC 360 takes a look back at the start of the Iraq War and where it stands now five years later. WATCH: "Shock & Awe: 5 Years Later" airs Saturday & Sunday, 11p ET

...and then, I heard it... Not the explosions we've all come to know as 'Shock & Awe,' but a voice... It came over CNN's breaking news intercom system. The voice alerted us that an offensive was underway, bombs had been released… the war had begun.

I was standing in the newsroom with one of our guests, William Cohen, the former Secretary of Defense... That in itself was a ‘Shock & Awe’ moment for me... Here I am, standing with a man whose successor was... literally at that exact moment... at the helm of the invasion of Iraq ... and we are both hearing this news at the same time.

To make things even more surreal, I knew the nation had gone to war before the nation even knew. What a strange feeling. It's like the news breaks twice... you know something that has yet to be broadcast to the world, and you wait for it to happen all over again, on-air… re-living it with the viewers.

The rest of that night was a nonstop blur – running from one area of the newsroom to the other, jumping in and out of editing rooms, printing everything I could, passing along news to William Cohen… I think I left work at 3 in the morning, but it’s the start of that night I always look back at.

We would love to hear what you have to say about the war: Where you were at the time? What was the biggest moment for you? The biggest success? The greatest failure? Where do we go from here?

– David Reisner, 360° Digital Producer

Program Note: Watch an AC360° special, "Shock & Awe: 5 Years Later" Thursday 11p ET.


Filed under: AC360° Staff • Iraq
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Judy Harris

    Our son was among the first deployed to Iraq, so he was on his way the day the war started. We kept our TV on CNN literally 24/7, hoping (as all parents and loved ones do) to see a glimpse of our son. I opposed the war from the beginning, but cared deeply for our troops. At that very same time we found out my sister needed a kidney so we had a double whammy at the start of this horrible war.
    Now, five years later, things are as different as they are the same. Our son came home from Iraq, only to be killed by an intoxicated driver. He was killed a year ago, on February 24, 2007. Two years ago I was able to donate a kidney to my sister.
    So, it was painful five years ago to let our son go to war, and now he's gone forever because a teen decided to drive after drinking alcohol and taking drugs. I still pray for all the troops, their families, and especially for the families who have lost a loved one in this war.

    March 19, 2008 at 10:40 pm |
  2. Jason

    I was on my way to a bar to get drunk when we heard it on the radio. We took shots to toast the event in honor of the fighters.

    March 19, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  3. Elizabeth, PA

    I was in 7th grade when the war began. I remember being at the gym with my mom and watching President Bush on TV confirming that military action would be taken in Iraq that night. It was a bandwagon war for me. Not fully understanding the circumstances, I assumed that being patriotic meant agreeing with the President, fully supporting the decisions of the the government. I sat in my living room by myself later that night waiting for the first bomb to be dropped. The TV anchors talked while a skyline shot appeared on the screen. I remember the first explosion. I also remember not understanding what I saw – a town, flames, there must be people living there. No one in my family really talked about the first shots and it wasn't discussed in school the next day. I don't think that I will ever forget the explosion. I don't think I will ever understand it either.

    March 19, 2008 at 10:27 pm |
  4. Barbara Enos

    5 years ago I was thankful that 6 weeks prior to the start of the war, my husband had retired from 25 years of honorable military service. I support our troops now as I have all my life, but would love to see them all come home. We have lost so many, and more will be lost in a fight that seems at times so hopeless. I know that Iraq is about more than terrorism, oil and pride. It's about helping those less fortunate than we are, about basic human rights and so much more. Though I understand most of it, I still cry out for those of us who have suffered such personal losses. When does all the madness end? When do we fight for the poor, sick, hungry and neglected right in our backyard? I feel like our government has truly forgotten about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for all of us living paycheck to paycheck and has lost sight of all that truly matters. Stop the killing now and let our brave men and women come home. Another Vietnam...in so many ways...

    March 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm |
  5. Ron Kepics

    Hi Anderson:

    I was glued to the TV watching it on CNN. Iraq will never stabilize with our the number of troops we have there. It's time to gradually reduce the number of US troops there. They need to fly on their own. If we don't get out now we never will.

    Ron K. San Diego

    March 19, 2008 at 7:04 pm |
  6. Mary~Smyrna,DE

    " Shock and Awe" Thats a good way to summarize these years.
    Thats how I felt when my brother joined the Army after 9/11.
    Thats how I felt when the 1st Cav gave him his orders.
    Thats how I felt when I was in Fort Hood watching him undergo
    his inspections, how I felt on the plane home when I knew I may never see him again. Worst of all, the " Shock and Awe" when the phonecall came that my cousin had been killed, and my father
    running out the back door and dropping to his knees with his arms
    in the air screaming "why, why!" Watching my 27 year old cousin
    being put in the ground and his little boys crying. " Shock and Awe"
    that all this happened over ONE BIG LIE!!! God Bless the soldiers and their families for they will never be the same.

    March 19, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  7. jennifer

    Where was I? I was at home, with a new baby. Peter Jennings and the other news anchors "played" the shock and awe footage over and over as though it were Fourth of July fireworks.

    Each night as I rocked my new daughter to sleep I thought of the millions of Iraqi children who must have been completely terrified as bombs were falling all around them. I thought of their mothers and how unbearable it must be to have your children be so afraid and unable to comfort them. And each day I watched the news coverage and all of the embedded reporters gathered around the adminstration and military officials like so many eager puppies. I would wait for the questions about the impact on the civilians and the casualties–but there were never any such questions and no footage was ever shown, at least not here on our democratic airwaves.

    To this day I am completely furious and disgusted with the media for the way it covered–and did not cover–this event. It was a disgraceful episode in the history of US journalism. All of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    March 19, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  8. Katie

    I was on a plane to London the day Bush gave the 48-hour ultimatum. The cabin had been relatively quiet, but immediately after the captain made the announcement, everyone began talking. It was odd being in another country when the war began; despite Britain being a political ally, the average person on the street was not happy about the situation. Not a great time to be an American abroad.

    Oddly enough, I was in the UK on 9/11 as well. Maybe I should stop going there!

    March 19, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  9. Patti

    I did not vote for either of the Bush candidates when they ran for president, but would vote for a republican candidate in a heartbeat if I sincerely believed he would represent our nation's needs and people. During G. W.' s terms, however, I have observed a continuous downward spiraling of our nation in several areas. I prefer to call his RE-election to office "Shock and Awe". He has had his own agenda since he stepped up to the microphone to announce his candidacy. I have no doubt that other leaders/politicians share his passion for the agenda, as one individual does not have the power to do this much damage. It is NOT the agenda of Americans, clearly. He has lied to the American people over and over. That cannot be denied. When will the people of this nation finally awaken to the reality of the Bush leadership and stop behaving as if five years later, we didn't get what we asked for? John McCain has been endorsed by President Bush, and John clearly has the same "agenda" when it comes to Iraq and other middle eastern countries, as has not hesitated to share by his claims to maintain our presence in the region over the next 100 years if that what it takes. God help us. No weapons of mass destruction. No connection between Hussein and terrorists. Approximately 4,000 men and women who serve our country killed, and countless others injured. Bush never backing down from claiming success about our involvement in Iraq. Now, five years later, your story "Shock and Awe", regarding the horrific attack on Iraq. You want REAL "Shock and Awe"? Watch the citizens of this nation, who support this war agenda daily by not speaking out in their local communities, or with friends and family. Watch those who do not turn out to vote. Even more horrific, watch as mothers and fathers of servicemen and servicewomen continue to grieve the loss of their son/daughter for the sake of LIES. Stand in "Shock and Awe" at the number of voters who support John McCain, a candidate who will enthusiastically continue the agenda, lies, and presence in the middle east. That, Anderson, is the real "Shock and Awe". It's insane. As a matter of fact, it reminds me of the AA definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Elect someone with the same agenda regarding the war. Now THAT is insanity.

    March 19, 2008 at 8:18 am |
  10. Verna Q

    I was watching TV. I was in shock because our nation had attacked another nation. I saw the bombs in the air and I worried about the many innocent people caught up in the mess. People died for no real reason. I cried. Last year the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote an article. There were pictures of George Bush Jr., Ms Rice, Colin Powell and Mr Rumsfield. The Caption was THEY LIED AND THEY DIED there were three pages of namesof the fallen soilders too tiny to read and again, I cried.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:47 am |
  11. Brian S.

    5 years....I sympathize with the families of the fallen soldiers. My opinion:

    #1) Shock and Awe is played with GI Joe soldiers. Not a cocky President that plays with the lives of real soldiers and tax payer's money.

    #2) Iraq did not attack us. I think we were being steered by fear, and Iraq was the easiest target. Korea and Iran were more of a threat of mass destruction. And Pakestan and Afganistan harbored more terrorist.

    #3) Our troops served our President in a brave and valiant way. However, someone must tell the President that once you claim "Mission Accomplished" you are supposed to withdraw the troops.

    I'm done.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:36 am |
  12. Amanda

    Hi David

    I was visiting the UK at the time and on the day went to Lincoln Cathedral to light some candles for what was to come and the lives that it would affect. I am not religious but just did not know what else was appropriate to do.

    There were continuous talk shows on UK TV and I was shocked that it was so one-sided. Anyone with a contrary view was shouted down or accused of being unpatriotic. Coming from RSA where the level of public debate is brutally honest since 1994, I knew that it was bad news if motivation and participation could not be questioned in an open way.

    Moment that really stuck with me is seeing some US troops attend a memorial service for a colleague in front of a home made cross from which the boots of the fallen troop were hanging. It just brought home the realisation that the political landscape may have has shifted and the world has changed forever, but on a personal level people's lives were also being affected in a major way.

    Where to from here – in Africa we live daily with the consequences of Western powers withdrawing from areas where democracy was not thoroughly established and the means to support it was not in place. The USA cannot leave Iraq before there is certainty that the country can survive and prosper.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:33 am |
  13. Pat M Canada

    When I heard the report I was stunned. My first thought was "what are they thinking?" I am still wondering today. Shortly after the news on Iraq I heard Bush tell a Reporter something like, If someone wanted to assasinate your Dad wouldn't you want to ???? I felt sick as I realized this was the reason thousands of people and military would die while Osama remained at large! When I viewed the Shock and Awe, I was in Shock and Awe and still am today. I asked myself what this excessive use of force was ever going to accomplish. Today, five years later, I can answer that question. NOTHING

    The day Bush took office I knew my world would never be the same again. I knew as Govenor of Texas he was known as taking a hard line. I knew he had created a State that took pride in the fact they were on the map as having carried out the highest number of executions in the world. They even topped China. I hope that record serves him well as the history books certainly won't be writing any accolades on his Presidency.

    He certainly proved me right. My world, Our world has never been the same. All Military past and present that served in Iraq and other wars have my gratitude, praise and respect. President Bush has only my contempt. His term can't end soon enough.

    March 19, 2008 at 12:44 am |
  14. Farquart Bestertester

    5 years and 9 trillion in debt. It weas about seizing control of crude oil supplies. The sad part is Dick Cheney way underestrimated the fact that the Iraqies would not allow US oil companies to walk away with the wealth of a nation.

    That is why the war wages on today and why it was started. Dick Cheney planned it when Georege H Bush was president and he made the military inductrial complex stand down. George H BUsh was the smart one

    March 18, 2008 at 11:18 pm |
  15. Jan from Wood Dale, IL

    A nonpartisan study found that the Bush Administration lied over 900 times in prelude to the Iraq war, misleading us on every critical issue.

    The surge had a clear and defined objective - to create stability and security - enabling the Iraqi government to enact lasting political solutions and foster genuine reconciliation and cooperation between Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds. We have provided the security, but the Iraqi government has not created stability.

    Several million Iraqi citizens have fled the country with little hope of returning home in the near future. Thousands of U.S. and coalition forces have lost their lives, and many more have suffered injuries. I believe the current stats show that more Iraqi citizens have died or have been injured than during Saddam's regime.

    Shock and awe was seeing skids of U.S. currency wrapped on skids being loaded onto a transport plane headed for Iraq. Shock and awe is seeing an Administration so corrupt that they had no plan for going into Iraq or for getting out. Shock and awe is seeing a current Presidential candidate sitting within one of Saddam's grand palaces gloating about the Iraqi shops being open and kids playing soccer in the streets while the truth is the people of Iraq are fearful to leave their own walled in neighborhoods.

    We need an exit strategy and need it soon.

    March 18, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  16. Chuck in Alabama

    I had been up for about 3 days... I was a soldier stationed in Germany working in intelligence. We were doing our best to locate the safest routes to the highest payoff targets to end the insanity which was Saddam Hussein while keeping our brothers alive. I've lost many friends during the past 5 years and will never be the man I once was thanks to the horrors of war.

    I pray we end this madness soon. I pray for all of those lost. I pray for my country.

    March 18, 2008 at 8:36 pm |
  17. EJ - Ohio

    I was in my 1st year of graduate school in PA. I was truly upset that "we" had decided to go to war. I was watching the news and crying at the same time. For the first time in my life, many of the Americans going to war were younger than I was. It was just unbelievable to me and I felt so strongly that this was wrong. I'm not anti-war but I knew this was wrong and tragic. Very tragic.

    In the weeks and months afterwards I remember watching David Bloom on MSNBC bring all of us such close up pictures of the war. And then being shocked and saddened to learn that he had died while with the troops – of a pulmonary embolism.

    Although I fear & and am at times angry at those reporters who go out and put themselves in such danger to bring those stories to us, I also deeply admire that sort of committment and motivation. We get so used to seeing these journalists report to us every night and I was so incredibly saddened by what happened. On top of the war itself being wrong, we were losing journalists as well as our troops.

    I can't believe it's 5 years later... and we have lost 4,000 troops and thousands more have been injured and changed forever. I truly don't believe we have accomplished whatever Bush thought we could accomplish.. and that indeed is a great tragedy.

    March 18, 2008 at 8:33 pm |
  18. Maggie C

    I was in the kitchen at home when the news came. I said a prayer that this war would end as quickly as the previous one that George Sr. had started, with as few deaths as possible.

    Then, as I watched the "shock and awe" I again remembered how it was the first time, and I knew that the answer to my prayer was "No". It was already too late.

    Maggie

    March 18, 2008 at 7:40 pm |
  19. Devo-Mar

    Five years ago, President Bush declared the operations complete, ending the war in Iraq and start the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Why the media and the government will not call it what it is, I can not say.
    That is why there are National Guard troops being sent to Iraq to maintain the peace. Why we went into Iraq in the first place is in the past, why we are still there is all that maters.

    March 18, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  20. Danny

    worthy and noble ? said one of the commenter above. This war was never about helping the Iraqi people. Of course we have to come off that way and there are a few people that are truly helping. It was about oil and power in the region and Saddam Hussein and the "WMD" gave the us the excuse to invade them. If we wanted to stop tyranny and bring democracy then why are we not in Iran, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America!!! Exactly we are only going to fight a war that is most beneficial to us, please don't believe its all about democracy. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  21. Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA

    We were deceived by a lying administration to get us into this war which everyone knows was for no other reason than controlling Iraq's oil reserves. Thousands of American soldiers have died as well as tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousand of Iraqi lives, in addition to the compete destruction of Iraq's infrastructure. This war isn't even paid for with existing funds, but is, in effect, charged on credit which our children and grandchildren will have to pay. And perhaps worst of all, al Qaeda is now a part of the Iraqi violence, joining the three warring Iraqi sects.

    Now that we've completely destroyed this country, how can we leave this mess? Regardless of who wins the election, we are going to be in Iraq for a very long time trying to clean up this mess. If we suddenly pull out, Iraq will fall into chaos and everyone knows it.

    What do I think of this war? It's been a disaster from it's conception to the present and there is no end in sight.

    March 18, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  22. Julie San Diego, CA

    Thanks for reminding us that it's been 5 years. Five long years for the troops, five long years for the nation, 5 long years for the world.

    Thanks also for focusing on a subject that matters.

    March 18, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  23. Kathryn Schoenberg-Ebertz

    Greetings,
    I was in St. Paul Minnesota, at home, listening to public radio.
    My most indelible memory is the sound bites by the military commander, using the term "shock & awe" and describing the inevitability of a short war won quickly. It was so surreal I had to turn on the television . . . I honestly thought it was from a movie script. Where was the reality of war in the whole presentation?
    Unfortunately it appears that administration has continued to live in one very small world, defined much differently than the world I know. Good movie scripts do not good wars make, and global societies will be trying to piece many worlds together for the unforseeable future. Where do we go from here? Taking global responsibility personally, including serious efforts at peace. Wish us all the strenght. Namaste, K.

    March 18, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  24. Devo-Mar

    The war in Iraq has been over for 5 year. What we have now is a bungled occupation and the government (President Bush) does not want the American citizens to realize this.

    March 18, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  25. Stacy

    If you want to know why we went to Iraq, visit to Ground Zero in New York City.

    Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11.

    March 18, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  26. Susan

    David:

    After five years, it is a moot point whether this war is unjust. We have to finish the job that we started. We can not leave the people of Iraq stranded. We have a small bud of democracy growing and need to nuture the growth.

    It would be an insult to all our brave men and woman who have been wounded or died for ths cause if we leave the job undone. It would be as if their sacrifice ( as those of their families ) were for nothing.

    I trust that our generals will find a way to start bringing our troops home in an honorable way.

    Susan
    Phoenixville,PA

    March 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  27. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    I too agree with Cynthia wholeheartedly, and also I would challenge anyone (especially David from Toronto) to do one important thing:

    If you want to know why we went to Iraq, visit to Ground Zero in New York City.

    Recently, I went there for the first time since 9/11. I will not even try to explain the feeling – I could not begin to do it justice. But GO there, that is all. If you can stand on that ground and not understand why we did what we had to do at the time, you frankly have no soul.

    Yes, there were mistakes made. Yes, it has gone on too long. But we need to face the facts, get to the bottom of them and make intelligent decisions regarding them. This includes realizing that the job is not done and we must finish what we started.

    A close family member has served in Iraq and will be going back again shortly. She has taught me so much, including the fact that her fellow brave soldiers want to stay and finish the job that they were sent to do. She is the mother of a young daughter and I honor her committment to make the world a better place for her family – for ALL of us. It is not easy on her, or any of these brave men and women.

    Thanks to Anderson, all of the great correspondents and staff who risk their safety to bring us the facts from Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, I hope for more coverage, but I feel you guys do the best job of any network. CNN still beats them all hands down in my opinion.

    God Bless you all and stay safe!

    March 18, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  28. Liz

    I was in my dorm room at the University of Colorado, my shock and awe came when my wealthy, out-of-state roommate came home and asked me if I could change the channel. When I told her what I was watching her reply was, "whatever, it doesn't affect me." My shock continued the next day when not a single professor or student in any of my classes mentioned it! It's taken 5 years for young people to even start a rhetoric about the war. And only now, when it's suddenly fashionable to be political, are people my age pulling their heads out of the sand and realizing that what happens in the world does affect us!!!

    March 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  29. Andy

    I was in my living room getting ready to walk out the door to run at the track when the war started. I'm an Army Reservist, and at the time, I remember thinking that I'd get the call at any moment. Five years later and I've spent a year and a half in Iraq, and I'm waiting on my next tour back over. I've buried some friends and more enemies. Our greatest successes? I don't think that everyone gets to see them. I stood guard in Taji beside an eight block line of Iraqi citizens who had traveled from all over the Sunni Triangle to vote fro the first time. The insurgency dropped mortars on us as the election polls opened and I watched literally hundreds of Iraqi men, women, and children stand their ground in the face of incoming fire to be able to cast their first vote. They were quite literally willing to die to be part of a democratic process. It was one of the bravest things I have ever seen. Our greatest failures? Whether or not we should have invaded Iraq is a matter for history. The fact is that we did invade and we overthrew the existing government of that nation. We owe it to the Iraq people to see the mission to completion and help them establish their new country. It's not easy and their is no short term, immediate solution. If we give up and walk away, we may be dooming them to failure and destruction. Even considering that course of action is, to me, our greatest failure. Can we really sentence a whole nation to death from our own lack of resolve and follow through? What message does that send to the rest of the world about the United States?
    Where do we go from here? I hope forward to completion and a mission accomplished. Please don't let all that we've done and given amount to nothing. Just as I was 5 years ago, I am a Reservist, and I am waiting for the call at any moment.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  30. Angela, Virginia

    My view on the war is a very personal one. Raising three small children without a father for long periods of time is impossible and painful to describe. The stress, and anguish is unbearable, and yet, we must bear it.

    I support my husband. He wants to be home. I want him to be home. My kids went from "where is daddy?" to "who's daddy again?" That is heart breaking in a very real way. That doesn't go away.

    The psychological adjustments before, during and after a deployment are something that is going under the radar in mainstream news. This war is pulling apart families, and tearing children up emotionally. The military member is not the only one fighting this war, his/her entire family is too–much more so than people realize. This certainly is not living the American dream.

    My view is that I would like the war to end...but, of course, that is a complicated thing to make happen so that everyone is happy.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  31. rita

    i can honestly say i don't remember where i was. but i was for attacking iraq because i was convinced that they had wmd's. now that i know there was none , i do believe that was just an excuse the bush administration gave for doing what they did.

    i believe that iraq should have been left for another day until obl was found and dealt with. i hope the dems win the pres. election. bush has gotten our country in so much trouble with debt, oil, mistrust from other countries, mistrust of our own people and our econmy in shambles.

    i support our troups while they are there and believe we should give them everything they need to stay safe until they can return home, but i do believe if the reps. win the election we are going to be talking about getting our people out of iraq for years to come from a war that should have not happened. i realise it can't happen overnight but a start would be nice.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  32. Stacy

    I'm not sure what everyone is talking about in regards to the media never showing the good news out of Iraq. I've seen many good news stories, as well as multiple specials about troop sacrifices. The problem is that when coverage is reduced to headlines, it all becomes statistics of violence. What do we want them to do, give us stats on the number of cars that didn't explode? If there is a fault with the news media's current coverage, it's lack of context, rather than lack of positive stories. We can see this with reporting on "the surge." It's a nice soundbite to say the surge is working, but as we heard from Michael Ware last night, it's a lot more complicated than that.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  33. Catherine

    America oh America! Raise your flags across America, with your head bowed and show the respect and dignity that all the Americans who died or was injured in this war not only deserve but command as heroes of our nation.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  34. naomi

    David,

    I was I was 21, sitting at my desk, with all my co-workers huddled around my desk, watching everything unravle over the internet. I was breathing less and less with the knowledge that my very close younger brother could very well be the tanker or set of troops we were seeing on the monitor as i knew he was invading Iraq during those very moments. It was terrible. He enlisted one month before 9/11 and has never been the same. That tour lasted a year, he came home for a short time and was deployed for another year, and he was just deployed again for another 18 month tour. My yellow ribbons are fading but i won't take them down till it's over....

    March 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  35. Catherine

    Silence please, as we remember with great respect all the lives that were lost and are still being lost today. Remember we should for sons and daughters and family members who still shed tears for loved ones. A very sad day in history for mankind. Five years and still no end in sight. How many more lives will need to be shed, their blood upon our very souls. Being an American and giving up the life of your son or daughter for a cause that according to your chief in command is justified, knowing in your heart that he does not see an end to this war. No, they did not die in vain, they died fighting for America and what we believe in as Americans. They should be honored as heros in a cause that they thought was just and fair, a cause so the future of mankind can better themselves across the world. Weapons of Mass Destruction has destroyed our belief in our nations' leader but has instilled in us and the world the belief that this war needs to end and to end soon, before more blood is shed. Five years and now it needs to stop, do not let another day go by without praying for and demanding this by our leaders in our nation. America's strength is not in her ability to dominate other countries militarily wise but America's strength is with her people.

    March 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  36. brad

    you do realize that the 'shock and awe' never happened right? i sat at home watching the beginning of the conflict along with everyone else, also seeing the interviews with generals and others in charge of the ground ops, and though they said that the 'shock and awe' is what the iraqis would be facing if they continued to hold out, we all also saw that it never happened and were told so in an armed forces interview (you have these film clips in your video pool); it never happened because saddam and his cronies took off from baghdad, basically giving up before the so-called 'shock and awe' could even take place.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  37. Ken

    Where you were at the time? At work and I thought . . . . jr. is out to finish Daddys business!

    What was the biggest moment for you? The loss of our City's first young man.

    The biggest success? Still awaiting a bigg success.

    The greatest failure? 1. The lies of our government to all even the congress. 2. The cost in dollars and lives.

    Where do we go from here? Out in as honorable way as possible. If that is possible.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  38. Lisa

    I honesty do not remember where I was or what I was doing when I heard about the "shock and awe". I do remember shaking my head wondering why we weren't willing to let diplomatic paths be finished. I was also very mad that we pulled troops out of Afghanistan (and slowed our hunt for OBL to what has basically become a crawl) to pre-emptively strike Iraq.

    I further remember arguing with people as to how wrong it was for us to pre-emptively strike - that we have become what we denounce – our country does not strike first; and that we lowered ourselves to their level.

    Now, 5 years later, we are no closer to getting OBL – the individual responsible for 9/11 – and are no closer to getting out of the quagmire we so arrogantly and stupidly entered into.

    A comparison of our time in Iraq to Viet Nam would be appropriate and timely. Maybe for future administrations it would be a guideline as to what not to do. Maybe then we might actually learn from our mistakes.

    My heart goes out to those families who have lost loved ones as a result and to those who have returned home with no support so to speak from the government who sent them there in the first place.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  39. KT

    I was working for a major defense contractor, and by the end of the day workers were talking about how their stock options would rise. Some execs now face SEC sanctions. Seems they were stealing from stockholders while shouting their patriotism. So what else is new? This is worse than the 60s for pure evil intents and economic gains off the backs of the soldiers. I no longer work for the company since it seems they do not believe in keeping whistle blowers around. Sometimes I think this country got what it deserved when you consider how many wall streeters ripped off investors from other countries.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  40. therealist

    57 million people liberated from ruthless tryany. More of which participated in their last elections than we did in ours. Yes, history is sure to judge our sacrifice worthy and noble. Until we choose to run away.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  41. xtina

    Even if we win in Iraq tomorrow, free nations are threatened by terrorism. Don't we want these candidates to discuss their long-term plans for fighting Islamic extremism. C'mon cnn, get back to the basics.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  42. Maggie

    I have not been a supporter of the war for the fact I felt it was over oil. After watching the special on CNN about the women of Iraq, I am more for us staying in Iraq to finish what we started. I feel we needed to be more aggresive to begin with. We cannot force democracy on them, but the women there really need assistance. Perhaps we could assist them there to have the "rights" Bush intended them to have and they could get things wrapped up.

    The best man for the job is a woman.....

    March 18, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  43. cary

    I think cnn should do more stories on the heroes in Iraq and quit putting such a political Dem vs. republican angle on the war on terror.

    March 18, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  44. Paris

    Wow! Cynthia,
    I feel the same way.
    The bad news always gets more air time than good news.
    Our media has failed to show the world the scarifies and the good our troops are doing for a nation.

    March 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  45. Michael, NC

    Very true Cindy, it is usually bad news when we hear of our brothers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it should not be that way. Thankfully, the AC360 team is giving a little coverage. Hopefully this will spark some more information not only from Iraq but from Afghanistan and Baghdad as well. They deserve some credit for their hard, persistent work.

    March 18, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  46. David Devine

    My shock and awe of the Magnificent Stupidity of Bush and his Henchmen.

    I would be happy to comment.
    Since that day five years ago, the American dollar has slipped (the wrong way) about 30% against the Canadian, Euro, pound and oil.
    If you believe half of what Woodward wrote in 'State of Denial', this is possibly the worst Presidency in history accompanied with the worst ever Secretary of Defence.
    This is a war that should never have started.
    This is a war that has cost thousands upon thousnds of Billions of dollars that could have better been used in U.S. hospitals and schools.
    American citizens deserve more – they deserve a fair shake and this administration has crippled the economy and turned more than half the world against the U.S.
    This useless war will mar the United States' reputatuion for generations to come – and incite continued Islamic backed attacks against it and its' citizens.
    I hope, with the sun in our eyes, that Obama wins and ends this tragedy and that the magnificent stupitiy of Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld is forever put at our back.

    David Devine
    Toronto, Canada

    March 18, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  47. SUNNY

    I remember the base in Atlanta. I knew someone from the area and she told me everything was being covered but it was discovered that everything was being painted tan. Back then, I was ready for an attack or for someone to pay. I was proud. Five years seems like a million years away.

    Five years from now will be a very long time. Things are going to change.

    March 18, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  48. Lilibeth

    Hi David,

    Where I was at the time: at work
    Biggest success: can't think of any
    Greatest failure: thousands of American and Iraqi lives lost
    Where do we go from here: out of Iraq

    This doesn't mean I don't support the troops. While they're there, of course, I'm rooting for them. I do hope they can all come home soon, though.

    For all 360 staff there in Iraq, stay safe! We love you!

    Lilibeth
    Edmonds, Washington

    March 18, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  49. Cindy

    David,
    When I first heard the news that we had gone to war I was in my office at work. I didn't have a TV so I didn't get the full extent of it until I got home that evening when I turned on CNN. But I kept up with it as much as I could through the following days and weeks. I loved the constant coverage and being able to really be right there as it happened.

    So I am wondering what happened? Where is the coverage? Regardless of what people think about this war our soldiers deserve to be remembered as more than just a bi-line on a page in the back of a paper if that.

    I think the media as a whole has done a GREAT disservice to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seems to me that the media only wants to cover something when it is bad and going the way that'll go towards their agenda. But when is the media supposed to have an agenda!? NEVER...but unfortunately they do! It's sad when we have to pick and chose what to believe from the news...it should never be that way.

    Hopefully 360's special will get us up to date and we will keep getting reports from Iraq and Afghanistan far into the future.

    Cynthia, Covington, Ga.

    March 18, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  50. Pamina

    It's hard to believe it has been 5 years already. It feels as if it all is still so raw. I can't imagine how the soldiers feel. I hope they know how appreciated they are. I also worry about our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan- we can't forget them either, that conflict has been going on even longer. Stay safe while you all are in that region!

    March 18, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
1 2

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.