South Floridians Talk About Iraq's Future - NBC 6 South Florida

South Floridians Talk About Iraq's Future

One Broward resident is happy the U.S. troops are coming back, while another worries about Iraq's future

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    South Floridians Talk About Iraq's Future

    For Davie resident Daniel Horn, the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq was welcome news. (Published Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011)

    For Davie resident Daniel Horn, the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq was welcome news.

    "I'm happy about it,"said Horn. "Happy none of my friends are going back."

    Horn, served in the U.S. Army in 2008. While in combat in Iraq, he worked as a medic setting up clinics along with humanitarian aid.

    "Iraq's a lot different than it was in 2003.  It's much better now," he said.

    Shatha Atiya is an Iraqi-American now living in Fort Lauderdale and practicing psychology.  She's concerned that the dream of an independent and sovereign Iraq may not become a reality.

    "I believe and so many believe that the Iraqi Government is not in charge.  Somehow they are failing," said Atiya.

    Atiya says, while reaction is mixed, many Iraqis fear for their safety after the troops vacate.

    "The conditions in Iraq are very unstable, very volatile.  As we hear everyday there are bombs in Baghdad and various towns.  Lack of security is number one," Atiya said.

    Since the beginning of the war in 2002, great sacrifices were made.  Nearly 4,500 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed. 

    "I'm glad we have democracy finally in Iraq," said Atiya.  "I really don't believe there was any other way to get rid of Saddam Hussein without a super power."

    But after toppling Saddam Hussein, Atiya says conditions haven't improved.  She says her people lack basic necessities like water, food and electricity.

    Her mother desperately wants to return home, but Atiya fears her health will worsen with the medical care currently available in their homeland.

    "Do they have hopes for the better? Yes they do.  Unfortunately, we haven't seen much progress in the past few years," Atiya said.