General Question

Mizuki's avatar

What positive has come of the Iraq war? Was it worth it, How?

Asked by Mizuki (2041points) January 4th, 2009

Oil for the USA?

Peace in the region?

A Shite Theocracy gift to Iran?

Easier to recruit terrorists?

$1 Trillion Dollars in debt for my kids?

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32 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

No, I don’t think it was worth it, although as a Canadian I have not personally been involved with it. I think it will become evident in the years to come as to why exactly it was a bad idea, including the spawning of future terrorists from such regions angry for what’s been done to them.

asmonet's avatar


oasis's avatar

Try telling the Guys who died that what they did was not worth it.

asmonet's avatar

I know several who agree with me.

asmonet's avatar

several vets not dead guys. i do not socialize with zombies.

Mizuki's avatar

Shame on people that ask questions?

richardhenry's avatar

@oasis: It’s not reason enough to lie to ourselves and pretend there was a cause. The blame isn’t on the brave men and women who died fighting for for their country, it’s on the governments that sent them.

kevbo's avatar

More people are awake to the idea of a global conspiracy designed to “enslave” us with debt and other controls and understand that the shitbags whom we deem world leaders love to profit from population control mass murder genocide war.

judochop's avatar

Shame on the American govt. I am a vet and I think this war has been a total facade and waste.

jholler's avatar

I choose to believe that the blood, tears, and friends I left there meant something. Hell with you if you don’t.

asmonet's avatar

@jholler: None of us have expressed anything but gratitude to the armed forces, we’re merely questioning why they ever needed to go in the first place. If you were there, then thank you, but that isn’t what the question is about. :-/

kevbo's avatar

@jholler, I’m not engaging you to start an argument, but I would like to know what you think. Would you articulate what “somethings” your experience and this effort means/meant both for you and more directly related to the question? Thanks.

For what it’s worth, I have a cousin in Afghanistan right now.

googlybear's avatar

The one positive thing that came out of the war for me was that I got to enjoy dinner with a man whose mother and two brothers were killed by an airstrike. While he was upset by the situation and the continued fighting, he was also able to understand that not all Americans were for the war…and to make a long answer short…it helped create a friendship…

jholler's avatar

On a political level, Hussein was a sadistic asshat and I believe the Iraqi people are better off in the long run with him gone. The hundreds I saw dancing and parading down Route Tampa the day he was sentenced to hang reaffirmed this belief for me. From an economic view, I feel like a “reset” button was pressed, and the Iraqi people have the first opportunity in decades to use their oil resources to better their country and their lives instead of building insanely opulent palaces for said sadistic asshat. From a theologic view, I can hope that the kindness shown by thousands of soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors every day while rebuilding schools, piping in fresh water, clearing IEDs that kill indiscriminately, and trying to make neighborhoods safe for kids to play in again makes an impression on someone who wonders what these infidels really care about. On a personal level, we learned what we were capable of surviving, what it feels like to really put your life in someone else’s hands, the responsibility of wagering your own life to protect someone else, and we will never again have to wonder if we ever made a difference or if all our breaths have been selfish and wasted. That is, until someone starts asking if the sacrifices we made were worth anything.

laureth's avatar

Kinda makes me wonder why we don’t go after other sadistic asshats, eh? Why only sadistic asshats in oil-rich nations?

wundayatta's avatar

I’m glad Hussein is gone. Unfortunately, the cost, I believe, was way too high. The US lost it’s reputation around the world. Our men died needlessly. It is a foreign policy disaster. It was also expensive, and probably played a role in the current worldwide economic meltdown. Oh, and it’s very unlikely that democracy will take in the Sunni and Shite areas. Or maybe it will, as soon as we get out.

jholler's avatar

Nah, democracy will never take hold, there’s just no place for it in fundamental islam. Turkey is democratic, but they’re about as close to true islam as turkey bacon is to pork. All that is above my pay grade, but I get really agitated when folks who have no personal stake in this war beyond a portion of their taxes and a hatred of anything with Bush’s name on it start griping about how the whole thing is a waste of their time and money. Too damn many good men and women have given their lives trying to fix that mess for anyone to trivialize it down to “we’re only there for oil”. If that was true, gas would have been this cheap back when we were controlling the oilfields, not now that we’re turning the country back over to the Iraqis. It’s not political for me, it’s not something on CNN I can blast POTUS for next time I’m feeling like I need to beat my chest. It’s intensely personal. I lost good friends there, and called in way too many medevacs for ones who are forever changed, but still so damn proud of the job they did they’d kick your ass for suggesting they wasted their time. I wrote a blog while I was there about my little chunk of Iraq. I just re-read it, and I can’t wrap my mind around what we did, and who I had to be to do it…life is too safe here to compare.

14 MAR 2007

I’ll tell you what I can about my little piece of Iraq. I’m at LSA Anaconda, near Balad, which is north of Baghdad on highway 1. The post is fine, much better conditions than the previous 2 times I was in the mideast with the Marine Corps..I have my own room in a trailer, heat/ac, AFN television, fridge, microwave, and a somewhat decent satellite web connection that I pay $80 a month for, and share with 25 other guys. We are combat engineers, normally responsible for emplacing/reducing minefields and wire obstacles, which translated into Operation Iraqi Freedom means Route Clearance. We drive slow and hunt IEDs. We spend countless hours on patrol, rotating with our other platoons to provide near continuous presence on around 50 kilometers of the most traveled highway out of the biggest logistical base in country. We stagger our times, routes, and composition randomly to keep the enemy from patterning us, and we try to pattern the enemy as they do much the same with their schedule. We roll out in mine protective vehicles of South African design, (they’ve been featured on numerous news stories, and shown on the internet, so I’m not giving up any secrets here) called RG-31s and Buffalos, augmented by up-armored HMMWVs. The first part of our route, immediately outside the base, is always full of children during daylight hours, begging. I felt sorry for these kids when we first got here, but that quickly subsided as I realized that
1:These kids aren’t hungry, this is all farmland and there are sheep and cattle everywhere.
2: The only reason these kids are begging is that Americans have taught them if they look pitiful, they get candy.
3: Their parents are encouraging this, and then planting bombs later.
4: They will steal anything not bolted to your truck if you let them get close enough, and
5: That WAS the “shocker” that 4year old was flashing at me…
F*ck ‘em, they’re baby terrorists.
Most of the convoys in and out of here drive as fast as possible, hoping to outrun the speed of explosion, I guess…we rarely do more than 10mph. We are TRYING to find the bombs…it’s really like a deadly game of “Where’s Waldo” concentrate as hard as you can on the patch of ground outside the thick bulletproof window, scanning quickly as far out as you can see for rocket tubes and then back close for disturbed earth, trigger wire, pressure switches, a bush that wasn’t there yesterday, a piece of curb that is just a little different color than the one next to it….anything that’s not exactly as it was the last time you were here. You notice things like a pringles can, cheese flavored, the plastic lid is gone, but the foil is still on it, and that end is pointing towards the road…is it trash, or a bomb? Can they put enough explosives in there to harm me? ok, it didn’t blow up…and it stayed exactly the same for 8 days. On the 9th day, it was turned 90 degrees…so we interrogated it. It turned out to be a pringles can, nothing more. You stare into blast holes in the road left by prior explosions, looking for anything out of the ordinary, but mostly just listening to gut feelings…“Hey, check out that hole, it just didn’t FEEL right…” and a lot of times, that instinct was right, and some asshat buried a couple of 152mm artillery shells in there. Sometimes we find them, we spot tiny command wires glinting in the sun from 50 meters away, and safely dispose of a bomb meant to kill someone…sometimes they find us..we can stare as hard as we can, but sometimes, it’s just too well hidden, or it’s right where you weren’t looking at that instant, and the next thing you know, your radio is crackling with the patrol leader asking if everyone in your vehicle is alright, but you don’t answer until the third time, because your ears are ringing so loud you don’t hear it. Some days are boring, no finds, no detonations, and nobody shoots at you. My wife and mother call these good days…I guess I do too, but it’s like being a firefighter with no fires…we need something to validate our being here. Some days we get all the validation we need, and wonder if we’re equal to the task, as medevac helicopters are landing, our buddies are bleeding, and we can’t find a damn triggerman to shoot. A doctor I spoke with put it very well, I thought…one of the most basic human instincts is the “fight or flight” reaction…we spend our time with people actively trying to kill us; we can’t flee, and many times there is nobody to fight. If we don’t see someone we can reasonably assume is the one trying to kill us, we can’t just shoot at the most convenient person, as badly as we would like to sometimes. We have to be better than that, or we are no longer professionals, just thugs with bigger guns. The easiest thing to deal with is when they just start shooting at us from somewhere along the side of the road, and we can shoot back…projectile therapy. When we get blown up, and can’t find anyone to hold responsible, anyone to make pay, it gets….frustrating. We keep going, they keep planting them and we keep hunting them. We keep going, in the hope that the other guys out there will succeed in THEIR mission, and find the ones who build the bombs…until then, we will do everything we can to make our little piece of Iraq safe.

judochop's avatar

A collection of words put into order can spin anything. Where are the WMDs? Is that not what started this? And why we are at it care to explain why Halliburtons stock has doubled in a sinking economy? This war has done nothing for the America aside from create debt that the republican party is dumping upon the democrats. I honor and pray for everyone who has been hurt by this war but this war was not our war. People die and yes that is a bad thing but what business do we have protecting others when we can’t even fix our own problems? Oh, it must be the oil.

dalepetrie's avatar

The best thing that came out of it was that it was one piece of the puzzle that helped destroy Republicans’ credibility and get us a decent President for once.

jholler's avatar

“this war has done nothing for America” selfish. WMDs have been found, although not in the quantities expected by anyone in Washington, Repubs and Democrats alike. I don’t know anything about Halliburton, never saw anything with their name on it in Iraq. Everything is done by KBR, maybe they’re a subsidiary, I don’t know. Look past what things do to benefit you and see what you can do to help someone else….without getting anything in return, or worrying about who does. Geez…“Halliburton, Cheney, Bush, Oil cronies, WMDs…” get a new line, that ones stale.

jholler's avatar

Hard to edit on my phone, but I’ll add that whether or not we shouldve gone to Iraq is a moot point; we’re there. Just don’t try to tell me that nothing good has come of it, and say you support the troops in the same breath. To me, that’s shitting on the memory of every man and woman who came home under a flag.

judochop's avatar

The best thing I can do for other people is too remain questioning a war that nobody has a straight answer for.

augustlan's avatar

Jholler: I don’t think any one here is dishonoring the troops by saying the war has had too high a cost. What you did was worthwhile, what the troops as a whole have done is worthwhile, but the war itself has not been, in the majority of American eyes. I liken it to being a good cop in a bad organization. A good police officer can do great things, but that doesn’t make the organization a good one, or the Captain in charge of it a good guy.

Trustinglife's avatar

@Jholler, I really appreciate your sharing your blog post. It gives me a real sense of what it’s like there on the ground. Thank you.

I don’t support our government’s decisions to go in and stay in. I don’t really understand what it’s all about. I have my suspicions, and as judochop says, I’d like to hear some straight answers. But…

You helped me open myself to some real appreciation for you and your mates over there: how hard it is, how much you sacrifice, the very real risks, the immense frustration, working your ass off for little appreciation. So, thank you.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Every war brings on new insights on how to fight the next one. The military has gotten better at fighting urban guerrillas because of this one.

Best of all is to learn how not to fight the next one, but they never learn, as the song goes.

Jack79's avatar

The only positive thing is that it collapsed thte US economy and weakened the dollar. This to me means that (since I get paid in euros) everything is cheaper, and to Americans working in exports companies that finally they can sell their products abroad. Of course imported good will be much more expensive now. Except petrol. Thank Bush for the war! :)

(oh and I also think it helped get rid of Stupid. But not sure)

Krow1125's avatar

I don’t think it was worth it. The only positive side is that when ever parents say two wrongs don’t make a right, you can ask “Why are we in Iraq then?”

Mizuki's avatar

jholler—so I gather that great bonding experiences have come from the war, Hussein is gone, and you learned what it is like to put your life in the hands of your comrades. OK, that is fair.
Here is where it gets skitsofrentic: “someone starts asking if the sacrifices we made were worth anything.”
Is not the reason we went there to spread democracy and liberty? Does not freedom of speech and freedom to question one of the virtues your brother’s gave their lives for?
My question was—What positive has come of the war? I find it odd that helping Iran build a Shite Theocracy, or setting up oil contracts for China, or enriching crony’s of KBR don’t register on your anger scale.
And then to suggest that only military personnel are allowed to discuss, or introspect on the topic, I find wholly unAmerican.
Just as I find preemptive war unAmerican, and those who wrap themselves in the flag and give the finger to the rest of us—UnAmerican. Those who would “kick your ass for suggesting they wasted their time”—Thank god their job is not foreign policy.

So much for protecting the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic…..

Jack79's avatar

you say “unamerican” as if it’s a bad thing. I’m 100% unamerican and proud of it. I’m even mostly unaustralian come to think of it, but certainly not as unaustralian as I am unamerican :P

(but ok, I do get your point, even though I disagree with it)

Mizuki's avatar

I guess I am unJapanese for that matter

jholler's avatar

and un…you know what? nevermind. God bless you, have a nice day. You’re right. And you’re welcome.

Mizuki's avatar

I understand jholler—those dam American Revolutionaries were terrorists too, right? How dare they defend their own land.

God Save The Queen.

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