iraq war of 2003: 10 years later

February 22, 2013
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The 2003 invasion of Iraq lasted from 19 March 2003 to 1 May 2003. Eight years, eight months and 26 days later, on 15 December 2011, finally U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta officially declared the Iraq War over, at a flag lowering ceremony in Baghdad.  March of 2013 brings us to the 10th anniversary of the war against Iraq.  The question is:  are we able to see clearly the effects of the Iraq War 10 years later and learn from it?

Iraq war 10 years after

But even that considerably smaller figure of $4-$5 billion is still much less than it would have cost the Bush administration to simply pay attention to the flood of warnings pouring into Washington from foreign intelligence agencies, our own CIA, and from FBI field operatives during the spring and summer that preceded the 9/11 attacks, and preventively order commercial airline cockpit doors to be locked in flight, just as the Israelis had been doing for the previous 30 years.

Such a step, appropriate in light of the circumstances would have saved the lives of the nearly 3,000 killed in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. A serious investigation into the 9/11 tragedy was prevented by the terms of the Bush administration’s Victim’s Compensation Fund, which used US taxpayer money to pay an average of about $1.8 million to each of the 9/11 victim families willing to sign an agreement not to sue and thus force disclosure of the extensive negligence and security breaches that led up to the tragic events.

So, what did the paths taken towards invading Iraq instead accomplish?  Ten years later, the Taliban has been returning to Afghanistan; they never were a threat to the US anyway, having several times attempted to turn Osama bin Laden over to the US. George W. Bush. Yet, our government managed to turn 2 wars over to al-Qaeda, instead of just the one it had been trying to provoke since 1996 with the purpose of draining the US economy.  This greatly helped the terrorist organization accelerate the realization of its loudly stated goal of harming the US financially.

What was the result of all this over-the-top spending?  It took 10 years and a Democratic administration to take care of bin Laden after Bush blew the opportunity in Tora Bora in December 2001.  Iraq still has a strongman government; only now the current version is Shia instead of Sunni developing an ‘Axis of Evil’ alliance with Iran and contracting to sell most of their oil to China instead.

 

All these non-accomplishments of the Bush administration came at the cost of nearly 7,000 US dead in both the Iraq war starting 2003 and the Afghan war.  As many as one-third of returning Afghan-Iraq vets are showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the number of suicides among these returning vets is becoming higher than the rate of combat deaths.  The cost to Afghanistan and Iraq is somewhere between 200,000 and 1,000,000 dead civilians. The conflicts created 3,000,000 orphans and rapidly rising birth defect rates, a stunning and life-long witness of the failure to ‘win their hearts and minds’. [1]

As the Vice-President of Iraq asked, rhetorically, in the opening days of the 2003 Iraq War, ‘What is George Bush trying to do, create an entire generation of terrorists?’  As Edward R. Murrow once observed, “The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer”.

Incredibly oblivious to the above mentioned facts, there are still those that want to maintain Bush kept us safe from terrorism.

What planet have these seceded to – Delusionus?

Well, as a result of the Iraq war of 2003-2011 and its mismanagement a lot of people in the 6 counties surrounding Washington D.C. got rich beneficiaries during the Bush administration years, one of the most corrupt administrations in US history.

George W. Bush’s 2003 Iraq War demonstrates much of what is wrong with aggressive neo-conservative foreign policies.  Its lessons are made most clear within the perspectives of the philosophers of War – particularly Sun Tzu and America’s own Colonel John Boyd – who provide sharp understanding to the Bush administration’s unfortunate choices. As Dr. Andrew Krepinevich of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments noted on our ‘War on Terror’, “Being on the wrong side of cost imposition is not a characteristic of strategic competence”.  Staying on the wrong side has even higher costs.

These lessons must be learned, for if we fail to do so, it is likely our $1.2 trillion/year military will become increasingly vulnerable to the asymmetric defenses of local hegemons, such as Iran, with its 0.015 trillion/year in military expenses, or China, our nearest military competitor.  China with its $0.14 trillion/year defense budget is choosing to put most of its money into developing its economy instead, and plans to deal with our aggressive $6 billion super carriers using relatively inexpensive anti-ship ballistic missiles!

Those who continue to advance the unnecessary and ineffective case for big government militarism as the answer to every problem are keeping us on the wrong side of strategic competence.

Combine this position with our increasingly hollowed out economy – ‘free trade’ they call it, having no historical memory that the same thing doomed the British Empire a hundred years ago – and the replay of another Iraq-type Middle-Eastern scenario (such as Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper’s demonstrated during Operation Millennium Challenge) is the sort of thing that brings down a great power. [2], [3], [4]

With more than 600 references, the book “Iraq War 2003: What Really Happened Behind the Political Scenes” by Charles Edmund Coyote provides an thorough analysis of the political atmosphere that led to the Iraq war of 2003 and its effects on the decline of the American economy.

 

References:

[1]     4.5 Million Orphans in Iraq: Protests Over Food and Shelter, Global Research TV, 22 February 2011; http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2011/02/45-million-orphans-iraq-protests-over-food-and-shelter

[2]     THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GREAT POWERS, Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000, BY PAUL KENNEDY, pp178-228, Vintage Books, New York, Copyright © 1987 by Paul Kennedy

[3]     War games rigged? General says Millennium Challenge 02 ‘was almost entirely scripted’, By Sean D. Naylor, ArmyTimes, 16 August 2002; http://www.armytimes.com/legacy/new/0-292925-1060102.php

[4]     Wake-up call, Julian Borger, the Guardian, 5 September 2002; http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/sep/06/usa.iraq

 

The title of the book tells a lot about its content: Osama bin Laden and his escape in Tora Bora; neoconservative philosophy of the Bush administration; the project of the New American Century; reasons of the Iraq war; facts about the Iraq war & the Bush administration most do not know; analysis of the long term cost of both wars; its effects on the American economy and recession; casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan and US troops; history background of the first Iraq war, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush, etc.

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