(Update: Ronan also has a good Iraq piece over at BCC as does Dan over at the Good Democrat). Russell Arben Fox, has an excellent post over at Times and Seasons about the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war. For those who visit the Messenger and Advocate; but, don’t venture out much into the rest of the bloggernacle, please do visit and comment on Russell’s post. He beat me to the punch about posting on this anniversary; but, it was something I was going to do here anyway. I do so, if for no other reason to continue to express my unqualified opposition to what I consider to be an ill-conceived, mis-managed, immoral and illegal war of preemption waged in my name by my country, almost universally against the better wisdom and wishes of most other countries (including our own allies) in the world.
The cost of this war has been too great, compared with and contrasted with its worth. In monetary terms the consensus is that the war has already cost some $400 billion, and could climb to over $1 trillion. These are simply obscene figures, given what amount of true homeland security that money could have provided to America both at home and abroad.
We certainly are not safer here at home because we have wasted some $400 billion in Iraq. In fact, this little foray has likely made us less safe at home. As the evidence suggests we have spawned an entire new generation of Islamic terrorists. Rather than bring “democracy” at the point of a gun to the Middle East, we have created more instability by leaving Iraq in a civil war, and have further endangered ourselves here at home. Recent reports reflect that America’s Army is in what some call a “death spiral” as a result of George Bush’s misuse of our Armed Forces.
The human cost is simply, well incalculable. Certainly we can count with accuracy America’s dead, and those of her few allies. And, we can estimate the amount of Iraqi dead; but, we can never bring those people back. Families on all sides of this war have been forever changed and in some cases destroyed. Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, are gone forever, and will be missed. Thousands and thousands of others have been physically and spiritually injured beyond repair. Yet, what do we have to show for all this human sacrifice? Rather than the mission accomplished democratic seeds of the Middle East, we have civil war raging in Iraq, and the literal trashing of democracy at home.
I’m certain that very few in March 2003 thought we would be where we are now in Iraq. In fact, our government promised us four years ago that we would be greeted as liberators:
Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. And the president’s made it very clear that our purpose there is, if we are forced to do this, will in fact be to stand up a government that’s representative of the Iraqi people, hopefully democratic due respect for human rights, and it, obviously, involves a major commitment by the United States, but we think it’s a commitment worth making. And we don’t have the option anymore of simply laying back and hoping that events in Iraq will not constitute a threat to the U.S. Clearly, 12 years after the Gulf War, we’re back in a situation where he does constitute a threat.
Dick Cheney, Meet The Press Interview March 16, 2003.
Virtually nothing American’s were promised or told by its government in the run-up to this war was true or accurate. There is nothing to suggest or support the current dire predictions that if we leave Iraq that the entire Middle East will fall apart, and that we will begin fighting terrorists on “Main Street” here at home.
As we begin the fifth year of this endeavor , it is time for Congress to exercise their constitutional duty and bring this war to an end. The cost has far exceeded its worth. It is time to support and protect our troops by bringing them home. They accomplished their initial mission of toppling a dictator, who now lies buried in his hometown. Our armed services performed admirably given the circumstances in which they were placed.