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06 January 2011


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I will ask once again - What did we win in Iraq? - pl

A Land Bridge from Tehran to Beirut, the Iranians should thank the Ziocons for lower their logistical costs to resupplying Hezbollah and Hamas.

William R. Cumming

The real question for me is whether a cooperative relatiosnship of any kind will exist between IRAQ and the US will exist? The second big question is will there be an Iraqi civil war and how will the US and Iraq's neighbors line up during that war?

Medicine Man

You removed Saddam Hussein and killed his sadistic sons. The long-term prognosis for Iraq and its people is unknown. Was it worth it? Not for me to say.

Stanley Henning

If this does not wake us up to the results of the criminal intent and negligence of those who shoved us into Iraq on false pretenses then our future as the world's brightest Democracy is in serious doubt. It will be difficult enough trying to dig ourselves out of the hole we have dug for ourselves - yes, we should also consider leaving Afghanistan for its neighbors to confront.

The Twisted Genius

In the words of Edwin Starr, "absolutely nothing!"


I thought the invasion was to decimate Iraq and overthrow its nationalist Baathist government, thus weakening its role in the ME and its ability to challenge Israel or support Hamas and Hezbollah, which was done.

Its true that the economic and military collapse of Iraq would comparatively strengthen Iran in the region, but what was done to Iraq was to be followed (is to followed) by the same action against Iran for the same reasons.

The longterm plan, then, is to leave both countries in as unstable a condition as possible, at virtual war within themselves, with as friendly a government as possible.


(Don't we need to distinguish between what the policy makers want – but will not admit – and what the military is told it is doing?)

Written with a desire to understand...


"What did we win? pl"

Any neocons out there? I hope you can answer the Colonel's question.

Green Zone Cafe

Iraq will never "pay off" in direct benefit to the USA, at least in our lifetimes. There will be some benefit to the world economy because of increased Iraqi oil production keeping prices down.

There may be a great deal of benefit to Iraqis in having their government evolve towards more decency and less corruption and brutality. Believe it or not, Iraq has been improving over the last three years, and average Iraqis might end up in a place far better than they would have been under Saddam, Uday or Qusay.

I don't think the Sadrists have that much influence - they only have three important ministries - Planning, Labor and Social Affairs and Housing and Construction, and all of those ministries may lose a lot of power and money to provincial governments.

Also, the Sadrist movement is not a monolith, and there are some smart people among their leadership. Their performance will also be judged by the Iraqi electorate, as Hakim's SIIC was in 2009 and 2010.

It could all go very badly for Iraq and will almost certainly be a "waste" or "donation" of blood and treasure for the USA, but I think you'll be able to visit Baghdad and see for yourself in five years or less. I bet there will be a building boom - with the German, French, Gulf Russian and Chinese firms prominent.

Siemens and Bin Laden Group building the Baghdad Metro, perhaps.

Patrick Lang


But what will WE have won? pl

Clifford Kiracofe

Yes indeed, just what is the actual and projected cost in billions/trillions USD to the US taxpayer in this and the next generation?

What percentage of this cost is financed by foreign lenders buying US paper? The taxpayers pay interest to the foreign lenders. What is the perecentage of the cost which is financed by simply printing currency? And so on.

And just what is the net/gross ECONOMIC benefit so far to the US? The war has been fought on BORROWED money after all.

Cost-Benefit analysis. Numbers not happy talk and fairy tales. There are some economists in the SST crowd who may have input.

Green Zone Cafe


Not much relative to the cost.

-- Lower gas prices as an Iraq hungry for revenue to pay for infrastructure improvement, employment and social benefits pumps more and more oil.

-- Some piece of the action on the building and infrastructure boom, example GE selling generators.

-- Hypothetically, some intangible credit to USA if Iraq turns out OK and there is a free, prosperous and decent state twenty years from now. This is the most contingent and unlikely, because of the sloppiness and bloodiness of the process we started. Even if it turns out OK, it will be seen as despite rather than because of the USA.

Maliki took some heat in Iraq for visiting Arlington Cemetery in 2009. Do you think the Iraqis will give a blanket award to the U.S. troops who served there, like the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross or the Kuwait Liberation Medal? I don't.


We lost. We invaded to replace the regime with a tractable client state that would allow us control of Iraq’s oil reserves (which also would have been one in the eye for OPEC). Didn't happen.

Patrick Lang


Sorry, but you are wrong. it was about making the ME safe for Israel. pl

Norbert M. Salamon

The USa/Israel cohort lost, and the loss is ever greaater since the war effort forced the powers to be to allow all kinds of finacial mayhem; lest the economy deteriate due to the expense of the two wars. The misallocation of scrace resources had to be hidden, thus the GREAT RECESSION and the RISE OF IRANIAN influense in Iraq.


We probably won nothing, but I wonder what the Bush family corporate structures won?

Not to mention what DARTH VADER CHENEY, and his cronies managed to loot out of the carnage. Can we say mega $$$$$$, THE MOOLA!NO BID CONTRACTS. THANK YOU SUCKERS!(I admit it, I was one of the suckers.)

The same thing Lincoln's big dollar supporters,got out of looting the South after that little avoidable skirmish.


Victory. Is victory an immediate result or the slow process of history distilling the ultimate result. Hitler, the most obvious case was defeated, his towns vaporized, millions of his men slaughtered but he wanted the destruction of Czechoslovakia and it has happened, and the disintegration of Yugoslavia and it has happened. The Soviet Union is no more and Germany is the foremost state in Europe. He warned the British about the possible destruction of their empire by war and the British Empire is a memory. Let us think of the prodigious developments in China. When I was a child it was invaded subjugated , poor, ignorant. More remotely the Roman Empire seemed to disappear altogether but its remnants became the seed for an illustrious Europe.
History is a bitch holding a cleaver over her butcher block.


What have WE won?

...Whole new gastronomic taste sensations provided by Iraqi and Afghan cuisine!

..Purveyed by the theme restaurant chains to be called "Karzais" and "Malikis"

--Staffed by our former interpreters and supporters who will no doubt have to flee the country when we leave, for a new life in Virginia, California, etc.

....patronised by alleged former special forces members saying loudly to anyone who will listen: "You call this the Kandahar Lamb vindaloo? Well I was in Kandahar in twenty ten and it doesn't taste anything like..."




Why did the USA invade Iraq?
A Checklist:

Control the oil? Yes.
Make the ME safe for Israel? Yes.
Hubris? Yes.
Kick More Muslim Ass? Yes
First Gulf War’s failure to overthrow Saddam Hussein? Yes
One up the Old Man? Definitely Yes

Why is the Iraq Invasion an American Tragedy?
Once the first Abrams Tank crossed the Kuwaiti border, the Iraqi Occupation was doomed to failure without the draft to provide the needed manpower to provide Iraqis peace and security and not raising the taxes to pay for it all is bankrupting the federal government.



It's getting better over the past 3 years? 2007 really shouldn't be the frame of reference now should it? I also don't think that the Iraqi dead would agree that it is better for them now than it would have been had the US not invaded in 2003. Perhaps we should ask their living family members.
I think that Saddam's sons would probably have had a very hard time staying in power once their old man was gone.

Lower gas prices? It was $1.66 before the invasion and is $3.07 now. Removing Iraq's oil from the market was only part of the equation and getting prices down in the future is no justification 'what we won'.

A piece of the action rebuilding what we blew up? GE already got a piece of that. We got the bill, God knows who got the ownership of all those power plants.

Iraq giving our troops medals? You'll have to wait for Prime Minister Chalabi to take office.

Government of by and for the people of Iraq is not now nor has it ever been the responsibility of the USA.

The beaver


What did we win in Iraq?

Some nice real estate in the green zone for the new US Embassy, the size of Vatican City.


oops "lowering"

Today is the Epiphany, also the day The Three Wise Men bring gifts to children in the old country, so I was thinking about eating my mom's Rosca de Reyes.

pl...I love the irony about not getting any gifts on this date, you must have some French Canadian ancestry to know this.


The Iraq war has been a huge geopolitical, economic and moral loss for us.

I think the reasons Bush-Cheney launched it were 1/3 what Stephanie says ("We invaded to replace the regime with a tractable client state that would allow us control of Iraq’s oil reserves"); 1/3 what Col. Lang says ("it was about making the ME safe for Israel"); and 1/3 the sheer, perverse, Oedipal desire of George W. Bush to "finish the job" that "Dad" failed to complete, and thereby prove once and for all that he was "the better man."

Seriously, we do ourselves a disservice to think that a creature as craven, stupid and venal as George W. Bush was above such primitive impulses in making the decision to invade. The sick drang to be a great "war president" was reinforced by the neocon delusion that it would be a cheap cakewalk. Bush's decision-making reminds me of Hitler's in invading Russia: "You need only kick the door in and the whole rotten structure will crumble."

Judged by Nuremberg standards, I consider the Iraq War to be the first (and I hope only) criminal war of aggression (save possibly the Mexican War, but hey, that's ancient history) that America initiates.

P.S. If you think the word "criminal" is too harsh, think of the tens of thousands of dead and maimed men, women and children there are in Iraq and America who would be living if we hadn't invaded.



A certain amount of nausea is appropriate at acts of collective punishment on an entrapped civilian population determined as enemies due to their religion.

And if we are not complicit in the guilt of these crimes, I don't know what the word complicit means.

Douglass Schumacher


"Lower gas prices as an Iraq hungry for revenue to pay for infrastructure improvement, employment and social benefits pumps more and more oil."

If you want to count this as a benefit of the war, you have to compare against other ways we could have gotten the same effect without war, like just removing the sanctions. I don't think that cost-benefit analysis will come out well.

"Some piece of the action on the building and infrastructure boom, example GE selling generators."

Likewise, I think.


"it was about making the ME safe for Israel."

... and when all is said and done, Pat, I'm inclined to agree that this was a central objective of the Neocon enterprise while noting their self-delusion that it served our national interest unambiguously... but it must be added that it has obviously failed as well. Beyond the return of Moqtada al Sadr, I've read too many pieces lately that suggest that Turkey has found a condominium with the Kurds and, as such, has begun to replace Israel as their "insurance".

I think this was your point as well when it comes to our strategic posture just as Israelis may still wish to believe that they are more secure now than they were a decade ago. Your recent comment about Saladin as a role model comes to mind, but I am not convinced that such personalized leadership is even required any more... except, perhaps, as a narcissistic political force that can potentially upset the game board on a whim that far exceeds their actual position (read: Avigdor Lieberman et al.).

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