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Friday, October 28, 2016

In the past week, we’ve tried to provide much-needed scrutiny of who was right and who was wrong in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003. Micah Sifry, co-editor of the Iraq War Reader, looked back at the collection of “history, documents and opinions” he helped put together a decade ago and specifically named those who got it right — and those who didn’t.

But as we’ve examined the role our media played in enabling the Bush administration’s lust for war, we haven’t said enough about the costs of the war for the people of Iraq — possibly because they are nearly impossible to quantify after a decade of crippling sanctions followed by a decade of war.

Recent estimates find between 110,000-123,000 civilians were killed and millions were displaced from their homes as a result of the war. One report says that there are now 4.5 million orphans in Iraq. Even though the U.S. occupation has now been officially over for more than a year, violence still rages and the death toll continues to mount, as the ethnic and religious rivalries the Bush administration were so ignorant of at the outset of the war fester.

Since the invasion, the freedoms Iraqi women once enjoyed have disappeared. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has not appointed one female to a cabinet post and women are now subject to tribal rule, which has resulted in them fading almost completely from economic life.

Violence against women is rising and the images of a Baghdad full of women without headscarves, driving themselves through the streets or filling college classes, are now distant memories.

The consequences of the Iraq War for the United States can only be hinted at, with numbers like 4,487 Americans killed and 36,395 wounded. Estimates that the war has already cost us $1.7 trillion and could end up destroying more than $6 trillion in taxpayer wealth don’t even begin to describe the damage the Iraq disaster has exacted on the tiny percentage of the American people who actually fought in it.

For those who served and their families, the tragedy will linger on for a lifetime. Meanwhile, the politicians who demanded the war have merely suffered only a loss of reputation, and the pundits who supported them have barely been scathed for their cheerleading.

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  • Well, let’s see: Over 4,000 American soldiers killed, over 20,000 maimed, estimates of Iraqi casualties range from 100,000 to 600,000 dependent on who you want to believe, over two million Iraqi Sunnis fled their homes and their country to save their lives, the infrastructure of what was once a prosperous developing nation is in shambles, billions of dollars wasted in no-bid, sole-source, contracts to Friends of Bush (FOB), a Gulag style prison camp, renditions, torture, a U.S. President who cannot travel abroad because of fear of being arrested and tried for crimes against humanity, and a U.S. economy in shambles, partly as a result of wasting $1.5T on a crusade against a regime we once supported during the Iraq-Iran war. Last, but not least, our international credibility dropped to its lowest point in history as a result of the deceit, arrogance, and greed surrounding this immoral example of adventurism. Incredibly, there are still people, including our media, trying to determine the cost or impact of this horrible example of lack of humanity and wisdom on our country, our national treasure, our society and our credibility. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out. Unfortunately, the ones they paid the price were our chidren and grandchildren, especially those who sacrificed their lives or were maimed in what they thought was a legitimate attempt to avenge and prevent another 9/11. I can only imagine how their loved ones must feel now that they know the truth.

  • I contend that the war in Iraq accomplished most of the actual goals that were wanted by the Bush, Cheney, Rove crowd.

    What they really wanted was to decapitate Saddam Hussein, provide a “need” for the Military-Industrial Complex, transfer HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to a few wealthy corporations along with the upper management of those companies and their owners, all at the expense of the American public.

    This looks to me like “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!”

    • Independent1

      Sadly, I think you’re right! ‘Mission Accomplished’ for a group of totally sub human criminals who all should have been sentenced to prison for life for perpetrating unmitigated fraud, manslaughter and mayhem on our nation and the nation of Iraq.

    • Unfortunatly, I have to agree. The only hope we have is to teach our children and grand children to question authority. The wealthy and powerful have used our youth for their own personal gains long enough. None of these wars can be fought with out our young. There is no other way to stop this.

  • onedonewong

    The US casualties spiked AFTER barak’s rules of engagement were put in place. He valued the lives of moooslims and al qaeda much more than our troops. As for civilian casualties those rest at the feet of al qaeda and their suicide bombings

  • That pack of lies really worked out well, just like many of us who protested the war knew it would.