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Iraq War 10 years later: was it worth it?

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A war that lasted far longer and was more costly than Americans were told to expect by their military and political leaders has led to much public questioning as well as private soul-searching.

 

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq – a war that lasted far longer and was more costly than Americans were told to expect by their military and political leaders, a war that has led to much public questioning as well as private soul-searching.

It’s clear that a decade of war has led to changed attitudes.

 

At the conclusion of the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend, there was a presidential straw poll. But conservative activists also were asked about the US role in the world, and the response was clear: only 34 percent said the US should adopt a more muscular role; 50 percent said the US should pull back, leaving it more to allies to take care of trouble spots.

 

Those results are similar to other recent polls taken of the general populace regarding whether the Iraq War was worth the effort and cost. By about two-to-one, Americans today answer “no.”

 

It will take years before the total costs are tallied. For one thing, thousands of combat veterans will require long-term treatment and disability benefits related to the conflict’s signature injuries: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

But a new report by Brown University scholars gives some indication of the financial and human toll.

Among the findings:

 

• More than 70 percent of those who died of direct war violence in Iraq have been civilians – an estimated 134,000. This number does not account for indirect deaths due to increased vulnerability to disease or injury as a result of war-degraded conditions. That number is estimated to be several times higher.

 

• The Iraq War will ultimately cost US taxpayers at least $2.2 trillion. Because the Iraq war appropriations were funded by borrowing, cumulative interest through 2053 could amount to more than $3.9 trillion.

 

• The $2.2 trillion figure includes care for veterans who were injured in the war in Iraq, which will cost the United States almost $500 billion through 2053.

 

• The total of US service members killed in Iraq is 4,488. At least 3,400 US contractors have died as well, a number often under-reported.

 

• Terrorism in Iraq increased dramatically as a result of the invasion and tactics and fighters were exported to Syria and other neighboring countries.

 

• Iraq’s health care infrastructure remains devastated from sanctions and war. More than half of Iraq’s medical doctors left the country during the 2000s, and tens of thousands of Iraqi patients are forced to seek health care outside the country.

 

• The $60 billion spent on reconstruction for Iraq has not gone to rebuilding infrastructure such as roads, health care, and water treatment systems, but primarily to the military and police. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has found massive fraud, waste, and abuse of reconstruction funds.

 

“Nearly every government that goes to war underestimates its duration, neglects to tally all the costs, and overestimates the political objectives that will be accomplished by war’s violence,” said Neta C. Crawford, professor of political science at Boston University and co-director of the "Costs of War" project at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.

 

Meanwhile, although anti-war protesters no longer demonstrate in this country, the inevitable debate over the war continues.

In a new Showtime documentary “The World According To **** Cheney,” the former vice president says “If I had to do it over again, I’d do it in a minute.”

 

No doubts for Mr. Cheney now – as others have – based on what’s known about Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or the Iraqi dictator’s questionable ties to Al Qaeda, the terrorist organization led by Osama bin Laden and responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon killing nearly 3,000 people.

 

Other senior officials in the administration of George W. Bush are not so adamant.

 

Regarding the elusive WMD, Bush administration national security advisor Stephen Hadley told NPR over the weekend: "Republicans thought [Hussein] had them, Democrats thought he had them, the Clinton administration thought he had them, the Bush administration thought he had them.”

 

"We were all wrong,” he says.

 

Regarding the human toll on both sides, Mr. Hadley admits that "clearly the situation got away from us."

 

But, he said in the NPR interview, "I think this is a country that is taking responsibility for its security both internally and externally.”

Responding to the Brown University “Costs of War” report, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, said that the US and Iraq have forged a "strategically important bilateral relationship."

 

"Compared to where we were in the Saddam era, we now have a bilateral security agreement,” she said, according to several press reports. “We have deep economic interests and ties. We have a security relationship. We have a political relationship.”

 

Still, stability in Iraq remains a serious concern.

 

“Ten years after the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, talk swirls in government circles of Sunni protesters planning to destabilize the country,” Monitor correspondent Jane Arraf reports from Baghdad. “While many discount the possibility of a coup, rising sectarian tension and an ongoing political crisis have raised fears that there is a new battle looming between Baghdad and the provinces.”

 

In a column last Friday titled “Five Myths About Iraq,” Washington Post associate editor and former Baghdad bureau chief Rajiv Chandrasekaran notes the latest violent news from Iraq: “On Monday, a suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden car into a police station, killing five people; the same day, six more people were killed in various militant attacks in Baghdad. Three days earlier, 19 people died in a string of attacks targeting security personnel.”

 

Andrew Bacevich has what is perhaps a unique view of the Iraq War, its outcome and its aftermath. Dr. Bacevich is a West Point graduate who served in Vietnam, a career US Army officer who retired as a colonel, and a professor of history and international relations at Boston University.

Bacevich's son, a 27 year-old US Army First Lieutenant, was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb. The loss weighs heavily on Bacevich. (He wrote about it movingly shortly after his family's loss.) But he was speaking and writing critically about the war before his son was killed in 2007, and he continues to do so today.

 

In a long Washington Post essay earlier this month (“Ten years after the invasion, did we win the Iraq war?”), Bacevich puts the Iraq War in the context of earlier conflicts ranging back to the War of 1812 through World War I to Vietnam, writing that “battlefield outcomes thought to be conclusive often prove anything but.”

 

“A challenge facing historians of the Iraq war … will be to gauge what senior members of George W. Bush’s inner circle were actually trying to accomplish,” he writes. “The justifications offered for the invasion were all over the place, including supposed weapons of mass destruction, claims that Saddam Hussein had collaborated with al-Qaeda and visions of democracy throughout the Arab world.”

 

“Eventually, only this last – Bush’s Freedom Agenda – remained,” he continues. “Yet, as the war dragged on, expectations of transforming the Middle East gave way to more modest definitions of success. When it came to advancing the cause of liberty, the Bush administration set out to build a cathedral. In the end, the Obama administration declared itself content with a shaky two-car garage.”

 

Politicians may argue vigorously about the conduct of the war and its outcome, as Sen. John McCain did in charging that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel would be found to have been “on the wrong side of history” regarding Iraq in general and the “surge” in particular.

 

But Bacevich argues that “judgments rendered by history tend to be tentative, incomplete and reversible.”

 

“More than occasionally, they arrive seasoned with irony,” he writes. “This is especially true when it comes to war, where battlefield outcomes thought to be conclusive often prove anything but.”

 

Just as it was in Vietnam – and back and back through previous wars – the outcome of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq remains unclear. “Was it worth it?” is a question impossible to answer.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/iraq-war-10-years-later-worth-141829429.html

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The one thing I would say is we as in America should never have to pay to be security for any country. Not sure why it always falls on the tax payer.

And it's never a win when we lose great American lives.

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I believe I read several years back about an agreement signed with opec concerning the petro dollar. Somewhere in that was stated that in trade for basing oil on the US dollar we would provide, protection to the opec countries basically against each other or from a leader that wasn't following guidelines such as Sadam. But here again that is what I believe I was informed.

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Thank You For Posting This Bumper.

 

 

“A challenge facing historians of the Iraq war … will be to gauge what senior members of George W. Bush’s inner circle were actually trying to accomplish,” he writes. “The justifications offered for the invasion were all over the place, including supposed weapons of mass destruction, claims that Saddam Hussein had collaborated with al-Qaeda and visions of democracy throughout the Arab world.”

 

“Eventually, only this last – Bush’s Freedom Agenda – remained,” he continues. “Yet, as the war dragged on, expectations of transforming the Middle East gave way to more modest definitions of success. When it came to advancing the cause of liberty, the Bush administration set out to build a cathedral. In the end, the Obama administration declared itself content with a shaky two-car garage.”

 

Does anyone else find it curious that it never seems to get a mention in our mainstream media about the real reason we took out Hussein...

 

He was threatening the "Petro Dollar" by selling Iraq's oil for other currencies and he was inviting his friends, Libya and Syria, to do the same.

 

Look at what has happened to them...

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For those of you who were against the Iraq war , I suggest you talk with some of the Kurds that were displaced by Sadam when he gassed thier village or visit a mass grave. (very sobering) Sadam was a brutal tyrant who was systamaticly killing his people.He didn't back terrorism unconditionaly , but for the right price he harbored them (the terrorist wanted for throwing that disabled jewish man off a ship and killing him in the 70s was found in Bahgdad) and provided training areas and support. Don't forget the 14 UN violations he was currently flaunting (maybe hans Blix could have written him another strongly worded letter)AS for weapons of mass destruction , well Syria seems to have a chemical stockpile (hmmm?) and Irans nuke program seems to have all of a sudden have gotten under way. (????) And when the dinar takes off do you think the war will have not only paid for itself , but put alot of US in a better place. So yes.

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no

If our sole purpose was to remove Sadam & finf MID's I agree. The lives and money (mainly LIVES) wasted after that was not worth it. Our gov has alot of splainin to do imo as to why we were there for ten years.............good luck with that right?

For those of you who were against the Iraq war , I suggest you talk with some of the Kurds that were displaced by Sadam when he gassed thier village or visit a mass grave. (very sobering) Sadam was a brutal tyrant who was systamaticly killing his people.He didn't back terrorism unconditionaly , but for the right price he harbored them (the terrorist wanted for throwing that disabled jewish man off a ship and killing him in the 70s was found in Bahgdad) and provided training areas and support. Don't forget the 14 UN violations he was currently flaunting (maybe hans Blix could have written him another strongly worded letter)AS for weapons of mass destruction , well Syria seems to have a chemical stockpile (hmmm?) and Irans nuke program seems to have all of a sudden have gotten under way. (????) And when the dinar takes off do you think the war will have not only paid for itself , but put alot of US in a better place. So yes.

I was for the extraction of Sadam & MID's for the reasons you mentioned.

Edited by caz1104

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I was in VietNam and thought that was was totally unnecessary and this war in Iraq was even worse than that. To loose men & women for the sake of trying to free  a country from its tyrant dictator like Sadamm, I say NO it was not worth the blood of our fellow Americans to have been there. Iraq has a lot to pay for in the loss of their lives, not just financial expense of the war.

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After seeing thousands of things like this below, and/or similar things like it over the years...I could care less who thinks that all of this is a scam?...Many may be asleep...but I'm not...It's really not hard to "follow the money"...lol...

 

 

There are too many of these, but this a sampling of a few things happening in Iraq that the mainstream media either blacks-out or ignores...how odd?....

Baghdad Gate
http://www.dsc-int.c....g/baghdad-gate


Proposed Baghdad Skyscraper City
http://www.skyscrape...d.php?t=1559800

Pictures from Najaf, Iraq
http://www.skyscrape...d.php?t=1128277


Link: "In Red" VISIT BAGHDAD, ARAB CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2013


Baghdad Pics:
http://www.skyscrape...d.php?t=1093703

BASRA: 'the venice of the middle east'
http://www.skyscrape...d.php?t=1128291



Jewish News One: VIDEO OF THE BOOM IN KURDISTAN, IRAQ

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Having serviced during this war in the Army & afterwards as a contractor. I think the war was worth it because Saddam would NOT have stopped with just taking Kuwait. He was out-of-control and he would have attempted to dominate the region.

 

I do NOT agree wth the way it was done. America footing the bills almost entirely and putting us in debt. I think all the mega rich Middle Eastern countries should have paid the bills on this venture. It is their asses we saved. I think if we had waited just a little bit longer before going in, they would have begged for our intervention. Of course this would have cost us many more lives during the war because Saddam would have had time to prepare for our arrival.

I do believe that the RV of Iraq's currency was a planned event from the start. I think Bush will be looked upon with much kinder eyes after the trillions come back into our econmy. Obama has had NOTHING to do with fixing our problems, and he has actually mis-managed everything so far.

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Having serviced during this war in the Army & afterwards as a contractor. I think the war was worth it because Saddam would NOT have stopped with just taking Kuwait. He was out-of-control and he would have attempted to dominate the region.

 

I do NOT agree wth the way it was done. America footing the bills almost entirely and putting us in debt. I think all the mega rich Middle Eastern countries should have paid the bills on this venture. It is their asses we saved. I think if we had waited just a little bit longer before going in, they would have begged for our intervention. Of course this would have cost us many more lives during the war because Saddam would have had time to prepare for our arrival.

I do believe that the RV of Iraq's currency was a planned event from the start. I think Bush will be looked upon with much kinder eyes after the trillions come back into our econmy. Obama has had NOTHING to do with fixing our problems, and he has actually mis-managed everything so far.

 

Having serviced during this war in the Army & afterwards as a contractor. I think the war was worth it because Saddam would NOT have stopped with just taking Kuwait. He was out-of-control and he would have attempted to dominate the region.

 

I do NOT agree wth the way it was done. America footing the bills almost entirely and putting us in debt. I think all the mega rich Middle Eastern countries should have paid the bills on this venture. It is their asses we saved. I think if we had waited just a little bit longer before going in, they would have begged for our intervention. Of course this would have cost us many more lives during the war because Saddam would have had time to prepare for our arrival.

I do believe that the RV of Iraq's currency was a planned event from the start. I think Bush will be looked upon with much kinder eyes after the trillions come back into our econmy. Obama has had NOTHING to do with fixing our problems, and he has actually mis-managed everything so far.

 

Having serviced during this war in the Army & afterwards as a contractor. I think the war was worth it because Saddam would NOT have stopped with just taking Kuwait. He was out-of-control and he would have attempted to dominate the region.

 

I do NOT agree wth the way it was done. America footing the bills almost entirely and putting us in debt. I think all the mega rich Middle Eastern countries should have paid the bills on this venture. It is their asses we saved. I think if we had waited just a little bit longer before going in, they would have begged for our intervention. Of course this would have cost us many more lives during the war because Saddam would have had time to prepare for our arrival.

I do believe that the RV of Iraq's currency was a planned event from the start. I think Bush will be looked upon with much kinder eyes after the trillions come back into our econmy. Obama has had NOTHING to do with fixing our problems, and he has actually mis-managed everything so far.

 

Having serviced during this war in the Army & afterwards as a contractor. I think the war was worth it because Saddam would NOT have stopped with just taking Kuwait. He was out-of-control and he would have attempted to dominate the region.

 

I do NOT agree wth the way it was done. America footing the bills almost entirely and putting us in debt. I think all the mega rich Middle Eastern countries should have paid the bills on this venture. It is their asses we saved. I think if we had waited just a little bit longer before going in, they would have begged for our intervention. Of course this would have cost us many more lives during the war because Saddam would have had time to prepare for our arrival.

I do believe that the RV of Iraq's currency was a planned event from the start. I think Bush will be looked upon with much kinder eyes after the trillions come back into our econmy. Obama has had NOTHING to do with fixing our problems, and he has actually mis-managed everything so far.

Thanks for your service! I'm sincere about that, any of you that have/or are still serving.

 

If I remember correctly President Bush spoke to the people of America about going into Iraq. I believe he asked if we were prepared for the long haul. When I heard those words I knew that there were a lot of people in America that had no clue what President Bush was telling us. This was going to very long, expensive and would take it's toll on the lives of many people here in America and overseas. I will try to search for that speech and bring it here.

 

The little bit I've studied the culture in the middle east I settled it in my heart that this would take a very long time, long enough that people would/will become wary and many have and continue to be worn out with this war. Many question whether it is worth it. I personally believe it is worth it. The people of Iraq were delivered from a dictator, a man that wreaked havoc on lives of families in Iraq and surrounding countries. I believe our military are used by God to become our missionary point men/women. I believe that God will put his foot down and say enough is enough and use the military from countries around the world to establish some form of peace while allowing His people to come in behind and introduce people to Jesus. If God can use a jack-ass or the jaw bone of an ass to get people attention then He can use the military of the US and/or other countries military. I believe some of those folks in Iraq have been introduced to Jesus since our military has come and gone to/from Iraq. Do I think it was worth it, yes. Some of my family have served in Iraq & Afghanistan and came close to losing their lives, thank God they're still with us. Are the lives of the people of Iraq better today than they were back in the late 80's and 90's, I believe so. Could it be better, most definitely.

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HAVING BEEN INVOLVED INTIMATELY WITH A WAR, I CAN SAY WITH SOME AUTHORITY NO IT WAS NOT WORTH IT. IT NEVER IS. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN JUST MY OPINION, PERHAPS WE SHOULD ADDRESS THAT QUESTION TO THE THOUSANDS OF INJURED SERVICE PEOPLE...OR THE FAMILIES OF THOSE KILLED TRYING TO NOT PROTECT AMERICAN INTERESTS BUT TRYING TO PROTECT ( UNKNOWINGLY) THE MONEY A FEW PEOPLE MAKE. WAR IS ALWAYS BIG BUSINESS...SUPPOSEDLY IT STIMULATES THE ECONOMY, PUTS PEOPLE BACK TO WORK AND DECREASES THE EXCESS POPULATION. WELL, AGAIN, MAYBE WE SHOULD ASK THE FAMILIES OF THOSE KIA'S HOW IT FEELS TO KNOW THEIR LOVED ONE WAS "AN EXCESS POPULATION"? OR PERHAPS THE ONES WITH NO LEGS, OR ARMS, OR FACES OR MINDS WHETHER IT WAS WORTH IT TO ENRICH SOME ALREADY RICH BEYOND BELIEF ******* WHO CAN'T EVEN BE BOTHERED SAYING THANK YOU, OR I'M SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS, HOW CAN I HELP YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?

WAR IS ABOUT MONEY FOLKS...IT ISN'T ABOUT RELIGION, OR FREEDOMS OR ANYTHING ELSE. IT IS ABOUT MONEY AND THAT TRANSLATES TO POWER AND THAT IS WHAT IS ALL ABOUT. WE DIDN'T GO THERE FOR WMD'S! WE WENT THERE TO TRY AND KEEP  OUR THUMB ON THE OIL, WHICH TRANSLATES TO MONEY WHICH TRANSLATES TO POWER, WHICH TRANSLATES TO MANIPULATING WORLD ECONOMIES! GREED!

COULD YOU SET A VALUE ON YOUR LEG? HOW ABOUT YOUR ARM, OR HANDS? OR YOUR MIND? BELIEVE ME, THE POWERS THAT BE IN THE WORLD DO, AND WHATEVER FIGURES THEY ARRIVE AT ARE DEEMED ACCEPTABLE. ACCEPTABLE LOSES!

Edited by silas
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How does one measure worth? There will not be a correct answer to this question..... For some the question is personal, and they are left measuring a loss that will forever mark their lives etched somewhere in the depth of their heart and soul against whether or not the gains were "meaningful"..... For others, the question is philosophical touching their core beliefs, and still others the question is an intellectual one of loss/gain, or risk/benefit.... Not everyone could possibly measure the question in the same manner, nor would they all be able to answer it against the same index.

Many of us were there, some in multiple theaters of the ME.... some are still there, and all of us who were there.... I don't care who it was.... lost at least one,..... that mattered.

I don't know that enough time has passed to answer the question against the index of loss/gain, risk/benefit....For some, it has to be "yes" in order to give some kind of meaning to whatever it was they left over there....  And I understand that it may not be appropriate to answer the question with another link.... so please forgive me ahead of time if this annoys you or is not okay.... Hopefully I've waited long enough for the thread to calm down in reply before posting this....

 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and here seems to be a group of people quite clear as to how  they would answer this question:

 

Edited by Rayzur
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"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things;

the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings

which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.

A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight,

nothing which is more important than his own personal safety,

is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free

unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

John Stuart Mill

War is an ugly buissness but by saying no war is worth it, then two world wars and Korea were not worth it , except to the people we freed and the economys (Germany,Japan,South Korea etc.)that we helped rebuild. These other wars we were involved in cost more lives in single battles than all of Iraq . (WW I the battle of the Somne over 900,000 live in a 3 month period, WW II during a Normandy beach rehearsle over 5,000 deaths during a single training day) I've been in 2 wars , if we're not ready to take causalties , then we have become (in Bin Ladens words)" the paper tiger" and our enemys will know all they have to do is drag it out and we will eventualy leave handing victory to them and have accomplished nothing except emboldening our enemys.(remember after the invasion of Iraq Khadafi gave up his weapons of mass destruction program and started cooperating with the UN) We need to finish the wars we get involved in , good or bad we need to finish them through victory instead of backing out because a portion of the population is not behind the current administration. We owe nothing less to the people who serve in our armed forces.

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