The war began a little over 5 years ago on March 19, 2003. We've now reached 4000 US soldiers dead and a few hundred more Brits and other allied soldiers. What a tragic waste. 5 years is a long time to fight a war in such a small country.
Bush originally argued for an invasion based on a supposed program to develop nuclear and other dangerous weapons. That justification has been discredited and the Bush Administration moved on to terrorism as the reason for the invasion. Bush continues to inaccurately link the Iraq war with the fight against terrorists.
Speaking at the Pentagon, Mr Bush said "removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision". He also said that fighting Islamic militants in Iraq helped to prevent attacks on targets in the United States.
"The terrorists who murder the innocent in the streets of Baghdad want to murder the innocent in the streets of American cities," he said.
The best way to reduce the terrorist threat is to keep Muslims from visiting the United States. The people trying to blow up US soldiers in Iraq are mostly Iraqis who do not want us there. The idea that we are going to create a peaceful and non-aggressive democratic example in the rest of the Middle East to follow is looking pretty dubious. The country is split into religious, ethnic, and tribal factions who each place more importance on holding power than on democracy or respect for individual rights.
Christians in Iraq were accorded far more rights under Saddam Hussein than they are today. Shiite and Sunni Arabs are locked in a fight because the Sunnis know that democracy means Shia rule and Sunni submission. We've managed to bribe some of the Sunni fighters into becoming legal paramilitary forces under limited US control. But that is just allowing the Sunnis to build up forces they need to fight the Shias and the Shias resent our empowering the Sunnis. I do not see how this ends well. I do not see the point of spending billions of dollars per week to try to make it end well.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2008 March 23 09:03 PM Mideast Iraq Costs|