Iraq War: What Was It Good For?

U.S. Army Soldiers conduct a patrol during a training mission near Camp Ramadi, Iraq, Sept. 25, 2007. - photo by Sgt. Andrew D. Pendracki

With the Iraq war officially over can we call it a success? The clear answer is no. Even if Iraq becomes a shining beacon of democracy in the middle east the war will still be a failure.

It’s a failure because: 

  • $1 trillion spent on war while cutting taxes (twice) heading into the worst economic downturn since the great depression
  • billions of dollars went missing or stolen
  • mismanagement of the war cost both billions of dollars and hundreds or thousands of lives.
  • the Bush administration led the country to war on a false premise and later tried to re-write history to convince us that the primary goal was to remove Saddam Hussein
  • almost 4,500 American soldiers lost their lives
  • over 30,000 American soldiers wounded and many more will forever have to deal with the mental scars of war
  • over 100,000 Iraq citizens killed
  • loss of standing in the world due to invading a country with no clear and present danger defined (even if weapons of mass destruction had been true)
  • over 2,000,000 Iraqis displaced

The above is by no means a complete list. There are many more depressing statistics from a war that should never have happened. I believe former congressman and three star admiral Joe Sestak said it best on a recent episode of Up with Chris Hayes:

Militaries can stop a problem; they can not fix a problem

We only go to war when there is a clear and present danger. There was really no problem to stop in Iraq.

– Joe Sestak

Now that we know Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction that leaves us with removing Saddam Hussein because he presented a clear and present danger to the United States. Does anybody really believe that? I would like to hear someone articulate that case. I can’t imagine it would have resulted in war in 2003 had that been the only case being sold.

Some former Bush administration officials now say “we” were wrong as if it should apply to the entire nation, but it was those former Bush officials that misled the entire nation. “We” were not wrong. “They” were wrong.

Even if Iraq does evolve into a sustainable democracy will the Iraq war feel like a victory? If that does happen the massive effort to re-write the history books will kick into overdrive.


photo by Sgt. Andrew D. Pendracki via Flickr


#Bush administration#Iraq#Joe Sestak#President Bush#Saddam Hussein#Up with Chris Hayes#war#weapons of mass destruction#WMD