Social Question

Linda_Owl's avatar

I am wondering what my fellow Flutherites think about our almost decade long war in Iraq before the US forces finally left?

Asked by Linda_Owl (7707 points ) August 8th, 2012

Did any of you lose someone who was important to you in the Iraq war? Does it make any difference to you that the person you cared about chose to enlist in the military? Does it matter to you that both Bush & Cheney launched the war in Iraq with out-right lies & flawed intelligence reports that they knew were invalid? Should Bush & Cheney have been held accountable for their lies that cost so many lives & cost so much tax payers money? If you feel that they should have been held accountable, how should they have been held accountable?

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32 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Humans are great at making massive mistakes.

JLeslie's avatar

I think Sadam Hussein was a secular leader who allowed women to get educations and dress in western clothing and hold positions of power and he was against Iran, and probably the US should have not taken it upon ourselves to get rid of him. But, I am pretty limited in my knowledge of international affairs and war so my opinion only means so much.

gailcalled's avatar

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls. All the losses were mine.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Anyone who has studied the history of the area could have predicted the outcome. I’m just amazed the Brits jumped into it with us. That’s even more ignorance of history.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe All I can figure is Tony Blair’s strong religious faith influenced him.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie That’s an angle I hadn’t considered. But they lost 500 soldiers the last time they tried the same thing. Doesn’t he read his own countries history?

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Not that I think he is ruled by his religious beliefs when it comes to public policy, but I have seen him speak about about extreme Muslims. I found this article, which further explains his stance on religion. But, need to search more for his actual thinking when he went into Iraq. I could be wrong about the relationship between his religious beliefs and why he went into Iraq. I do think Bush went in because of his father’s past experience in the region and his own religious beliefs. I also think Bush and Blair bonded possibly religiously, not sure. I don’t think either man is AntiMuslim specifically, I think it is very complicated.

Mariah's avatar

I feel we had no business entering Iraq in the first place.

WestRiverrat's avatar

We have not completely left yet. Obama left enough troops to make targets, but not quite enough to defend themselves and do the job he gave them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie I see your line of thought, and I think you may have figured it out. That would explain a lot.

zenvelo's avatar

A waste of lives, time, and treasure. Little good has come of it, but much enmity has.

King_Pariah's avatar

We’re not actually out. We have “security contractors” (mercenaries plain and simple) still in Iraq and a whole lot of them at that.

geeky_mama's avatar

@WestRiverrat – Uh, would you like to support your assertion that we have troops still in Iraq? Because my dear friend just returned from his last deployment (2 months ago) and his entire mission charge was to complete the final BRAC of ALL Iraqi locations that remained.

They have pictures of the final American soldiers officially stepping over the border to Kuwait and according to him (and it was his mission to lead) there are NO U.S. soldiers in Iraq anymore. And that was actually accomplished last year, in December and was widely reported in national media.
There are a few bases remaining in neighboring (and friendly) Kuwait—but the soldiers there are neither targets nor large in number.

I agree with others that we should never have invaded Iraq – but I predicted it when W. Bush was elected in November 2000. You can ask my husband – I turned to him when the results rolled in on TV and started crying and said: “Mark my words, we’re going to war in Iraq.”

josie's avatar

Answer to first question, yes more than one.
All of us enlisted. Would you prefer that unwilling conscripts get killed in war? Would you want to be drafted and serve in combat next to an unwilling conscript? Think about it.

If the decision is made to go to war, then it is not over until the other side begs you to stop. If you don’t have the stomach or the resources for that (and clearly Americans do not have the stomach, and so be it) then you should handle your differences with diplomacy.

That was not done in Iraq. They started up, and fizzled out.

The geopolitical idea of conquering Iraq actually makes sense if you look at the map. It puts a squeeze on Iran (the true problem State) from the west, backed by the West in Afghanistan on the east. Plus the West still needs oil, so it is necessary to have a presence. I am not going to imagine that many Americans would be comfortable going to war strictly as a geopolitical strategy, but it never hurts to know the upside.

So, given the fact that the President and his Neo Con advisers did not have the balls to commit, I disapprove of the action. This timidity has afflicted the US and its Presidents since things went bad in Korea and Viet Nam.

Since I think all politicians are criminals of one stripe or another, then why not hold them accountable for just about everything, including their total lack of fiduciary responsibility to the people who pay into the Treasury. What crimes have they NOT committed?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@geeky_mama my cousin is part of the ‘small’ marine security team protecting the US embassy.

whiteliondreams's avatar

@josie I recently got out of the military no more than a year ago and I can tell you that there are so many kids joining that you might as well have been drafted because once they finish basic and advanced training, it seems as though they don’t want to serve anymore because some Battalions are not well organized and the socialist structure of the Army degrades morale, freedom, empowerment, and obedience. Why obedience? Because ‘joes’ are under the impression that they know more than the chain of command. I swear that if you only see what all your tax dollars are paying for you would not only be ashamed, you would be outraged.

+ You are all, also, under the impression that people join to defend the nation…You are sorely mistaken as many were looking to get out of small towns, get a job, evade the justice, and fulfill parental wills and requirements to obtain an inheritance. I’m not even exaggerating. That’s the sad part.

So in regards to the question; it’s about time we got out because as @Mariah stated, we had no business being in there. Look at where the United States stands economically and globally. While I’m not ashamed to be American, I take no side except the front of the Constitution.

Linda_Owl's avatar

@josie , to me, war is never the best or only, answer. And I am glad that the US military went to all volunteers for the military after Viet Nam. None of us should have to have a “stomach” for war. If we go to war, it should be for a cause that can clearly be seen by the world as a whole – like WWII against Hitler. We had no business invading Iraq, they had no WMD, & as @JLeslie pointed out, Sadam Hussein was, basically, secular – meaning that he was not under the thumb of any of the Imams. He did allow women more freedom than did a lot of the muslim countries. I totally agree that he was a brutal dictator, but now that he has been disposed of, almost everything in Iraq has been destroyed – courtesy of the US military forces. Bush & Cheney lied to the US deliberately. Why Bush lied, I have no idea – but Cheney lied in order to make money. The military establishment lies to the enlistees on a regular basis. They tell the enlistees that they are going to be “defending the America’s freedoms”. Nothing could be farther from the truth. But jobs are scarce & the military is always ‘hiring’.

basstrom188's avatar

I am sure that Bush, Cheyney and Blair thought they were fulfilling Biblical prophecy by invading Iraq. As did Lord Balfour and Lloyd George in 1915 when they first put forward the idea of a Jewish homeland in Palestine (the Balfour Declaration). Not the best way to conduct foreign policy. Then religion is not rational is it?

Qingu's avatar

I don’t have any personal connection to the war.

I think it’s tragic that hundreds of thousands of people, mostly Iraqis but also American soldiers, died in the war.

I opposed the war because it was started based on bald-faced lies, unilaterally, and without any coherent strategy for the aftermath. The last part, in retrospect, is I think the worst thing about the war. I actually sympathize with the argument that, even if there weren’t WMD’s, Saddam was a cruel dictator and Iraq is better off without him. In the long run, Iraq might well be better off thanks to our intervention.

But the cost was too high, and that cost was due to the Bush administration’s criminal mismanagement of the war effort. Operating under the assumption that Iraqis would “welcome us as liberators,” disbanding the Baath forces (and thus leaving a security vacuum), appointing morons like Rumsfeld to lead the army, morons like Bremer in charge of the CPA who didn’t even speak Arabic, the moronic rules of engagement where 18-year-old kids with heavy weapons are supposed to fire at Iraqi cars who don’t stop at checkpoints… not to mention the institutionalized torture that came to a head at Abu Ghraib that was, beyond the immorality of the acts themselves, probably the single greatest propoganda victory and recruiting tool for Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia… it was just one clusterfuck after another, and the incompetence resulted in hundreds of thousands of innocent deaths, and a long-term black eye for American geopolitical strategic influence.

Though, I do think credit should go to Bush and Petraeus for the “surge,” which apparently did work (along with the Sunni Awakening and the fact that ethnic cleansing had already happened) to pacify the country. Bush’s Iraq policy eventually became more sane, and by the end of his second term he went a long way towards cleaning up his mess. Not that that excuses his first term’s foreign policy.

Qingu's avatar

@WestRiverrat, tell us what you want done in Iraq. Yes, Obama is leaving spec ops advisers and a few other forces to guard our interests there—none of them will be engaging in direct combat.

What do you want? A full military force left in Iraq, continuing to engage in combat with Iraqis? That’s not what Iraqis want, obviously. They are supposed to be a sovereign country now, and we signed an agreement with them that Obama has followed. It’s not what Americans want either, obviously. I fail to see what the purpose of such a force would be either, since at a certain point military occupation of a country becomes counterproductive (since they end up hating you more and more) and a waste of resources.

So let’s hear it. What’s your master plan for Iraq?

ucme's avatar

It was a conflict whose foundations were built on a blatant fabrication, the exsistence of WMD’s.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I want all the American combat troops withdrawn, even the ones the government has relabeled as State Department employees. If we are going to withdraw, everyone should be withdrawn. If we are going to leave a combat force, it should be big enough to finish the job, not just perpetuate the belief among the local population that the US military is there to stay.

geeky_mama's avatar

@WestRiverrat – it’s pretty common practice for soldiers to do a tour of duty as State Dept / Foreign Service Embassy support. I worked in Venezuela for a while last year and my flights back & forth always had active duty military cycling in or out from working at the Embassy down there. Considering how dangerous Venezuela is for Americans (kidnapping and robbery at gunpoint – not safe to walk anywhere alone) I’d hazard a guess that it’s not a fun job whether you’re in Syria, Iraq or Venezuela on Embassy Duty. So..even if you cleared all those guys (including your cousin) from Iraq..they might end up in harms way elsewhere..

Also…do you really think Embassy support duty is meant to perpetuate the belief that a military presence is there to stay? I always thought it was to protect US Dept. of State employees who are working in less-than-friendly international locations.

YARNLADY's avatar

I hate wars of any kind, but these crazy hunt and peck type are the worst.

Ron_C's avatar

Compared to the people that now run Iraq, Saddam Hussein was a great leader. The entire country had regressed hundreds of years and they have Bush and Cheney to blame. I would sponsor a trip for those two to go to Iraq where they could be arrested as war criminals and for their part in the genocide that is sweeping the middle east.

I wish I was christian so that I could be satisfied that Bush Cheney, and Hussein will all, someday, share the same corner of hell.

flutherother's avatar

I didn’t lose anyone personally, but the invasion was illegal and a disaster for Iraq. How many hundreds of thousands were killed how many millions were made refugees The consequences have never been fully reported.

Qingu's avatar

@WestRiverrat, define “finish the job.”

Qingu's avatar

@Ron_C, I think that’s over the line. Saddam was not a better leader than the people who now run Iraq. He was a dangerous despot who deliberately murdered as many of his own people as the invasion accidentally killed. And I don’t like how you are throwing around the word “genocide” cavalierly.

Ron_C's avatar

@Qingu So it is better to have dozens of minor despots than one big one? If you don’t like my use of genocide; how would you describe purposely blowing up tribes with different views on religion. There are constant mosque and wedding bombings and the only apparent reasons are religion or tribal loyalties. Is there a different word for tribal murders?

Qingu's avatar

Yes, it is better to have minor despots and a democratic framework than a big one. I don’t think many Iraqis would agree with your assessment.

I would distinguish between scattered terrorist attacks and genocide. Genocide is the systematic murder of an entire population or culture. That said, ethnic cleansing certainly took place, with Sunnis and Shiites both being uprooted in bloody turf wars, and that is certainly a direct result of the US’s mismanagement of the war’s aftermath. But again, “genocide” to me means something far graver, and for that reason I don’t like throwing the word around willy-nilly.

Bill1939's avatar

The Iraq war is another example of political and military hubris, and the shortsightedness of our leaders. Worse, our country has followed the Arab adage, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” since the advent of the Cold War. We, without regard to the suffering being made possible by our largess, have supported some of the most evil of despots, with money and access to advanced American military hardware (which was purchased with the money we gave them) as long as they choose to follow our political lead.

mattbrowne's avatar

Bush & Cheney supported the biggest recruitment success Al-Qaeda ever had. There are more terrorists today than there were before 2003.

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