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10th Anniversary of the Iraq War

 
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catman



Joined: 18 Jul 2004

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:29 pm    Post subject: 10th Anniversary of the Iraq War Reply with quote

Quote:
The US war against Iraq was illegal and illegitimate. It violated the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions and a whole host of international laws and treaties. It violated US laws and our Constitution with impunity. And it was all based on lies: about nonexistent links between Iraq and Al Qaeda, about never-were ties between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, about Iraq’s invisible weapons of mass destruction and about Baghdad’s supposed nuclear program, with derivative lies about uranium yellowcake from Niger and aluminum rods from China. There were lies about US troops being welcomed in the streets with sweets and flowers, and lies about thousands of jubilant Iraqis spontaneously tearing down the statue of a hated dictator.

And then there was the lie that the US could send hundreds of thousands of soldiers and billions of dollars worth of weapons across the world to wage war on the cheap. We didn’t have to raise taxes to pay the almost one trillion dollars the Iraq war has cost so far, we could go shopping instead.

But behind these myths the costs were huge—human, economic and more. More than a million US troops were deployed to Iraq; 4,483 were killed; 33,183 were wounded and more than 200,000 came home with PTSD. The number of Iraqi civilians killed is still unknown; at least 121,754 are known to have been killed directly during the US war, but hundreds of thousands more died from crippling sanctions, diseases caused by dirty water when the US destroyed the water treatment system and the inability to get medical help because of exploding violence.

And what are we leaving behind? After almost a decade the US finally pulled out most of its troops and Pentagon-paid contractors. About 16,000 State Department-paid contractors and civilian employees are still stationed at the giant US embassy compound and two huge consulates, along with unacknowledged CIA and FBI agents, Special Forces and a host of other undercover operatives. The US just sold the Iraqi government 140 M-l tanks, and American-made fighter jets are in the pipeline too. But there is little question that the all-encompassing US military occupation of Iraq is over. After more than eight years of war, the Iraqi government finally said no more. Their refusal to grant US troops immunity from prosecution for potential war crimes was the deal-breaker that forced President Obama’s hand and made him pull out the last 30,000 troops he and his generals were hoping to keep in Iraq.

But as we knew would be the case, the pull out by itself did not end the violence. The years of war and occupation have left behind a devastated country, split along sectarian lines, a shredded social fabric and a dispossessed and impoverished population. Iraq remains one of the most violent countries in the world; that’s the true legacy of the US war. We owe a great debt to the people of Iraq—and we have not even begun to make good on that commitment.

The US lost the Iraq War. Iraq hasn’t been “liberated.” Violence is rampant; the sectarian violence resulting from early US policies after the 2003 invasion continues to escalate. Of course we didn’t bring democracy and freedom to Iraq—that was never on the US agenda. The failure to “liberate” Iraq cannot be the basis for assessing the war.


Quote:
The US troops left behind a devastated, tortured Iraq. What they didn’t leave behind is one dollar for reparations or compensation. That battle still lies ahead. The US war in Iraq may be over, but we owe an apology to all those who suffered from the war. And that apology must be grounded in recognition of our enormous debt to the people of Iraq, a debt for which compensation and reparations are only a start. Our real obligation, to the people of Iraq and the region and the rest of the world, is to transform our government and our country so that these resource-driven wars, shaped by lies and fought for power and for empire, whether in Iran or somewhere else, can never be waged again.


Of course the neo-cons architects still defend the invasion:

Quote:
One notable exception was the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the neo-conservative stronghold whose pre-war “black coffee briefings” and close ties to Vice President Dick Cheney and Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld ensured its “scholars” a leading role in both promoting and actually planning the invasion and subsequent occupation – under the careful guidance of Ahmad Chalabi, the exiled Iraqi banker and confidence man who had hoped to be installed as the country’s new president.

In a one-hour briefing Tuesday afternoon that dwelled heavily on the supposed “success” of the 2007 so-called surge of 30,000 additional U.S. troops to prevent Iraq from falling into an all-out sectarian civil war, AEI associates, joined by Sen. John McCain, defended their advice throughout the war.

They have also run a flurry of op-eds published this past week, including one for FoxNews by former Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, entitled “Iraq War taught us tough lessons, but world is better off without Saddam Hussein.”

Wolfowitz, a key architect of the war and major backer of Chalabi, argued that Washington should have adopted a Surge-like counter-insurgency (COIN) strategy much earlier in the war, a particularly ironic observation given his very public denunciation on the eve of the war of Gen. Eric Shinseki, then-Army chief of staff, who warned Congress of the need for several hundred thousand troops to keep the peace after the U.S. invasion.

Indeed, the war’s defenders – mostly neo-conservatives and aggressive nationalists, like Cheney and former U.N. Amb. John Bolton, another AEI “scholar” – spent most of the past week insisting that they had done nothing wrong.

“If I had to do it over again, I’d do it in a minute,” Cheney told an interviewer about invading Iraq in a television biography that aired last Friday.

Like his fellow hawks, the former vice president insisted that U.S. and other intelligence services were convinced that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that he was theoretically prepared to give to terrorists – and that, in the wake of 9/11 – justified the invasion.

Indeed, the notion that the only flaw in the decision to go to war was “bad intelligence” has become a mantra of the war’s defenders who, like Wolfowitz, appear to miss the irony of their complaints, given their own interference in the intelligence process in the run-up to the war.


http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/20-0
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Nowhere Man



Joined: 08 Feb 2004

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:49 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

(happy that I can chime in early here)

The first decade of the 21st century was unmistakably the darkest period of world history I've experienced.

But, in looking back, I'm by and large happy.

I have and still oppose the invasion of Iraq.

What pleases me is that so much of what was wrong was ultimately shown to be wrong.

Unilateral invasion- bad idea
Lies about how oil revenue would pay for the war expenditures- bad idea
Lies before the UN about WMD- bad idea
Torture spread worlwide via phone cameras- bad idea
Preposterous jingoism about how you must support the war if you support the troops- bad idea
Mission accomplished- bad idea
Abuse of protesters- bad idea

I hold that we actually needed the folly that was the pro-war movement to not only get their war but also get W re-elected in 2004 so that he had another full 4 years to show what a gong show he'd created.

To be back in it, it seemed like it would never end.

But it did, and now the GOP keeps Dubya under a rock and the rest of the neo-con cast is left to burble on FoxNews.

If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you? Or would that horrible thing just sprout elsewhere later if it hadn't been exorcised?

Same goes.
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