Iraq War: An Eight-Year Massive Crime—But the US Political Class & Press Ask, ‘Was It Worth It?’
Kevin Gosztola | FireDogLake | March 18, 2013
Do Iraqis think it was “worth it” to be invaded in 2003 so the US could prevent Saddam Hussein from using weapons of mass destruction that did not exist?
“It cannot be said there was no cost or suffering for Americans, however, that should not be the focus of reflection. It should not matter whether Americans think it was “worth it” or not, whether those who engineered the war still find it to have been “worth it,” or even whether troops who served happen to believe what they did was “worth it.” The primary focus should be the cost to Iraqis.
Do Iraqis think it was “worth it” to be invaded in 2003 so the US could prevent Saddam Hussein from using weapons of mass destruction that did not exist? Was it “worth it” to be occupied by US military forces and private military contractors for eight years? Do they approve of the invasion, which the Gulf War launched by President George H.W. Bush and the sanctions and air strikes against the country that occurred when President Bill Clinton was in office?
…Is it worth it that the US invaded and left behind a country where torture is pervasive? Is it worth it that the US only worsened sectarian tensions and even played groups against each other to get results desired and now that is fueling violence? Is it worth it that all war crimes committed in Iraq have gone unpunished; that few responsible for murder and torture have been held accountable, particularly those who were serving as high-ranking government officials and authorized or looked the other way when such acts were committed?”
Iraq War 10 years later: was it worth it?
Brad Knickerbocker | Christian Science Monitor | March 18, 2013
“…a new report by Brown University scholars gives some indication of the financial and human toll.
Among the findings:
• More than 70 percent of those who died of direct war violence in Iraq have been civilians – an estimated 134,000. This number does not account for indirect deaths due to increased vulnerability to disease or injury as a result of war-degraded conditions. That number is estimated to be several times higher.”
Iraq: A decade of abuses detailed in new report
Amnesty International | March 11, 2013
Ten years after the US-led invasion ended the brutal rule of Saddam Hussein, Iraq remains enmeshed in a grim cycle of human rights abuses, including attacks on civilians, torture of detainees, unfair trials and widespread use of the death penalty, said Amnesty International in a new report today.
Amnesty’s 82-page report – Iraq: A Decade of Abuses (PDF) – catalogues years of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees committed by Iraqi security forces and by foreign troops in the wake of the 2003 invasion. It highlights the Iraqi authorities’ failure to observe their obligations to uphold human rights and respect the rule of law in the face of deadly attacks by armed groups.
Iraq: War’s Legacy of Cancer
Dahr Jamail | Al Jazeera | March 18, 2013
“There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah.
Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.
As shocking as these statistics are, due to a lack of adequate documentation, research, and reporting of cases, the actual rate of cancer and other diseases is likely to be much higher than even these figures suggest.”
MI6 and CIA were told before invasion that Iraq had no active WMD
Richard Norton-Taylor | The Guardian UK | March 18, 2013
“Fresh evidence is revealed today about how MI6 and the CIA were told through secret channels by Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister and his head of intelligence that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction.
Tony Blair told parliament before the war that intelligence showed Iraq’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programme was “active”, “growing” and “up and running”.”
Ten Years After: How Not to Teach About the Iraq War
Bill Bigelow | Good.is
“The section in Modern World History on the U.S. war with Iraq might as well have been written by Pentagon propagandists. In an imitation of Fox News, the very first sentence of the Iraq war section places the 9/11 attacks and Saddam Hussein side by side. The book presents the march to invasion as reasonable and inevitable, while acknowledging: “Some countries, such as France and Germany, called for letting the inspectors continue searching for weapons.”
That’s the only hint of any anti-war sentiment. In fact, there was enormous popular opposition to the war, culminating on February 15, 2003, a date that saw millions of people around the world demand that the United States not invade Iraq—if you’re keeping track, the largest protest in human history, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. This, of course, is a pattern in corporate textbooks: Conflate governments with the people; ignore social movements.”
Tenth Anniversary of Iraq Invasion: Lessons & Warnings for an Illegal War on Iran
Muhammad Sahimi | Antiwar.com | March 18, 2013
“According to former NATO and the U.S. Southern Command commander General Wesley Clark, after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. the Bush administration was to invade seven countries in the Middle East and Africa and topple their regimes. In addition to Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran were also the target. But, despite huge setbacks, the plan has been more or less implemented. The war between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah during summer of 2006 was supposed to represent the beginning of a “new Middle East” and remaking of Lebanon, but failed. The so-called “humanitarian intervention” in Libya by the U.S., NATO, and Saudi Arabia was nothing but naked military aggression, with the carnage there continuing. Washington is involved in a “secret” war in Somalia, and has also been deeply involved in South Sudan for years due to the region’s significant oil reserves. Needless to say, the bloody sectarian war in Syria has been raging for two years, with U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar arming the Salafi-Wahabi extremist and terrorist forces in Syria, the worst possible mistake that any nation can make.
This leaves only Iran, the prime target of the War Party in the U.S. and its Israeli allies. In May 2003, only two months after the invasion when Bush made the foolish declaration “mission accomplished,” a senior official in his administration said, “Anyone can go to Baghdad. Real men go to Tehran.”
…One difference between the current state of affairs regarding Iran and Iraq is that, while Blix and another former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei tried to prevent a war in Iraq by urging the UN to give them more time for inspecting the country, the current IAEA Director Yukiya Amano has completely politicized the IAEA, and is a minion of the U.S. See also Robert Parry’s piece, as well as Julian Borger’s report and criticism of Amano.”
Ten Years Later: When is the Reckoning?
Justin Raimondo | Antiwar.com | March 18, 2013
“…Feith and his co-conspirators not only refuse to own up to authoring the greatest military disaster in American history, they are “proud” of it, as Dick Cheney recently proclaimed. A government investigation into whether Feith and his fellows deliberately palmed off false “intelligence” to justify the Iraq invasion was quashed. To this day, not a single US government official has been held accountable, and the pro-war pundits – who spent over a decade relentlessly agitating for the war – are in their same perches, war-birds screeching for the destruction of Iran.”
Democrats Share the Blame for Tragedy of Iraq War
Stephen Zunes | Truthout | March 17, 2013
“Members of Congress were also alerted by large numbers of scholars of the Middle East, Middle Eastern political leaders, former State Department and intelligence officials and others who recognized that a US invasion would likely result in a bloody insurgency, a rise in Islamist extremism and terrorism, increased sectarian and ethnic conflict, and related problems. Few people I know who are familiar with Iraq were at all surprised that the US invasion has become such a tragedy. Indeed, most of us were in communication with Congressional offices and often with individual members of Congress themselves in the months leading up to the vote warning of the likely consequences of an invasion and occupation. Therefore, subsequent claims by Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Harry Reid and other leading Democratic supporters of the war that they were unaware of the likely consequences of the invasion are completely false.”
Iraq War Among World’s Worst Events
David Swanson | WarIsACrime.org | March 18, 2013
At 10 years since the launch of Operation Iraqi Liberation (to use the original name with the appropriate acronym, OIL) and over 22 years since Operation Desert Storm, there is little evidence that any significant number of people in the United States have a realistic idea of what our government has done to the people of Iraq, or of how these actions compare to other horrors of world history. A majority of Americans believe the war since 2003 has hurt the United States but benefitted Iraq. A plurality of Americans believe, not only that Iraqis should be grateful, but that Iraqis are in fact grateful.
New ‘Costs of War’ Report: Hundreds of Thousands Dead, Trillions Spent
Jon Queally | Commondreams.org | March 15, 2013
As the ten year anniversary of the US invasion approaches, updated research shows that both the human and financial costs of the preemptive and prolonged military adventure in Iraq are higher than the most Americans even now realize and astronomically higher than its proponents assured the public as they made their case for war a decade ago.
Ten Years After: Iraq’s Pain has Only Increased Since 2003
Sami Ramadani | Guardian UK | March 14, 2013
It has always been painful for me to write about Iraq and Baghdad, the land of my birth and the city of my childhood. They say that time is a great healer, but, along with most Iraqis, I feel the pain even more deeply today. But this time the tears for what has already happened are mixed with a crippling fear that worse is yet to come: an all-out civil war. Ten years on from the shock and awe of the 2003 Bush and Blair war – which followed 13 years of murderous sanctions, and 35 years of Saddamist dictatorship – my tormented land, once a cradle of civilisation, is staring into the abyss.
Reflections on 10 Years of Illegitimate US War on Iraq
The Steering Committee of World Can’t Wait | March 12, 2013
The Anniversary of the Iraq War and Guantanamo Hunger Strike
Podcast with Cindy Sheehan and Witness Against Torture | March, 2013