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Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Iraq War is officially over

On this day, the Iraq War has officially drawn to a close. It began in March of 2003, lasting nearly nine years (more than twice as long as the United States took to fight and win World War II across both the Pacific and European theaters).

The Iraq war cost our own country nearly one trillion dollars. It also cost the lives of more than 4,500 American military personnel and more than 100,000 Iraqis (many of whom were innocent civilians not attached to Saddam Hussein's army).

Now... can anyone finally tell me why it is that we went to war in Iraq in the first place? "Enforcing sanctions" won't cut it. We lost too many lives and wasted way too much money on this fiasco. What has come of it? An Iraq which will sooner than later tear itself apart across ethnic and religious lines (specifically Sunni, Shiite and Kurd) and a wide-open corridor from its western border for Iran to get pokey with Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

In short: we took an already unstable world region and primed the fuse for even worse potential for globe-rattling mayhem.

The only reason we honestly went into Iraq to begin with is because we had, at the time, a small-minded narcissist in the Oval Office. A man who only got there because of his friendships and his family connections. A control freak who was too used to getting his own way. A simpleton who had no grasp of history and yet wanted to be remembered as a "war president". An individual detached from sympathy, empathy and sincerity. A man who thought himself and was allowed to think of himself as "favored of God" and that all others as such were expendable according to the whims of his divine right to rule.

Yes, George W. Bush and all of his kind... by all means, "Take a Bow".

Future generations will look upon this conflict - and what it will eventually spawn - and accordingly rank our own era as being among the most foolish in American history.


Scott Bradford said...

Don't buy into the myths!


Chris Knight said...

In very large part I can agree with that post. But even so: however bad Saddam's regime was, toppling it as we did only served to set up a WORSE situation. One that we have bought and now have to take responsibility for.

Given a few years, I've no doubt that the Iraqi people would have revolted on their own against Saddam's Hussein. Then they really would have enjoyed a free country that they would have earned on their own. And we would be off the hook in regard to the ramifications.

Iraq is not an inherently stable nation. Never has been. And "nation building" has never been a successful endeavor. The Japanese after World War II by and large reinvented themselves. The people of Iraq should have been allowed to do the same... beginning with taking out their own dictator.

That didn't happen. And now, come the consequences...

Scott Bradford said...

I'm not sure they would have had a revolt any time soon... Hussein was so brutal against the Kurds when they tried it that everybody (e.g., the Kurdish government and the Iraqi National Congress [in exile]) was terrified of making another attempt.

Obviously a natural internal revolution, a la Egypt, is the 'better' way for these things to happen. But it's not always practical, especially when you have a psychotic dictator with a lot of remaining internal support (which Saddam had among the Sunnis).

Good comparison to Japan -- but their revolution didn't come from the inside either. It came from us!

Iraq's future is in the Iraqi's hands, regardless of how we got here, and I hope they make something of it.

Larry said...

I have news for you. We have been in Iraq since 1990. That would be George HW Bush, the senior, not George W Bush the junior.