U.S. Soldiers Have Left Iraq

The last soldiers left Iraq last night. The price tag of the nine year war in human terms: 4,500 American lives and the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqis.

At the height of the war, more than 170,000 U.S. troops were in Iraq at more than 500 bases. By Saturday, there were fewer than 3,000 troops, and one base.

The death toll:

Since the US invasion in March 2003, at least 126,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in the war, according to Boston University professor Neta Crawford. In addition, another 20,000 Iraqi soldiers and police were killed, along with more than 19,000 insurgents. British group IraqBodyCount.org puts the number of documented Iraqi civilian deaths from violence at 104,035 to 113,680.

The financial cost to the U.S. for operations from 2003 until now: $670 Billion to $1 Trillion.

Was it worth it?

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    Was it worth it? (5.00 / 10) (#1)
    by Romberry on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:34:16 AM EST
    No. It was an utter waste. An orgy of destruction and death for no good reason at all. It was a crime. Literally.

    death count versus death count (none / 0) (#41)
    by diogenes on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:21:58 PM EST
    Do you suppose that Saddam Hussein might have killed 10,000 civilians a year over the past ten years in political prisons, etc.  If we hadn't invaded, then we would still have had to keep the no-fly zone over Kurdistan or he would yet again have gassed and murdered Kurds.  If the Arab Spring had hit Iraq with Hussein in power then he would have treated his rebelling civilian population in a way that would make Assad look like a pussycat.

    Lots of hypotheticals (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by christinep on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:44:39 PM EST
    Frankly, diogenes, your words belie your nom de plume. It sounds as if you are pleading for some kind--any kind--of justification for the war by throwing in dream scenarios. A mountain of killings & maimed bodies, I would think, calls for a stronger justification than maybes & what ifs.

    One of our biggest (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 12:40:53 AM EST
    foreign policy blunders ever.

    A national shame of great magnitude and on top of that we strengthened Iran and helped Conservatives proselytize a phony fiscal crisis.

    The whole enterprise weakened this nation.


    Do you vote: yes, it was worth it? (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:25:22 PM EST
    Do I suppose... (none / 0) (#103)
    by Romberry on Sat Jan 21, 2012 at 11:18:34 AM EST
    ...Hussein might have killed 10k a year in political prisons? No, I don't. There's no reason to. Do you have some reliable source that shows Hussein was killing anywhere near that number of political prisoners? Do you have some reason to believe that the new rulers of Iraq will not match Hussein's treatment of the political opposition?

    As far as the Kurds, no, no more gassing. Hussein didn't have any more chemical weapons. And ya know, you miss the inconvenient fact of how US assistance (or at least US indifference) allowed those attacks on the Kurds in the first place.

    If the Arab Spring had hit Iraq with Hussein in power then he would have treated his rebelling civilian population in a way that would make Assad look like a pussycat.

    You state that as though it is a fact and not an opinion. Regardless, I disagree. When a people rise up en masse, no ruler and no government can resist. And as we have seen, the Iraqis are perfectly capable of rising up and fighting back. And the nation was armed to the teeth.

    Might it have been that the reason Iraqis didn't rise up and overthrow Saddam in the first place was that things just weren't bad enough to warrant it? Sure it could. Regardless, the death and destruction that we brought to the people of Iraq and their society was on an epic scale, and absent any direct and imminent threat to the United States (of which there was none), it can't be justified. It was an aggressive war, and it was a crime.


    Was it worth what? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:50:59 AM EST
    The question "was it worth it?" assumes there was a valid reason for the invasion and occupation in the first place, doesn't it?

    Now with a financial cost to the U.S. of $670 Billion to $1 Trillion - I'm sure there are people who think it was "worth it".

    There was that cost because it was money spent to buy goods and "services" from what are essentially disaster capitalists profiting from death and destruction. I'm sure they think is was worth it.

    I'm sure the oil companies who now have development contracts in Iraq think it was worth it.

    Do any Iraqis other the al-Maliki and his cronies think it was worth it?

    Sure they do - they had a party in Fallujah to celebrate just the other day - Iraqis Burn U.S. Flags To Celebrate Troop Pullout - at least the Fallujahns who were still alive, and/or have arms and legs instead of flippers did. Apparently the cheering and sound of flower throwing was overwhelming.

    On the upside (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:56:35 AM EST
    the invasion did put an end to the ten year sanctions war that killed over a million Iraqis - so those million probably think it was worth it?

    Iraq Humanitarian Intervention: The Movie

    Was it worth it? Hell NO! (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:43:49 AM EST
    Obama answers this forthright question in his typically unforthright manner:

    "I think history will judge the original decision to go into Iraq."

    The people of the United States voted in 2006 overwhelmingly to end the war in Iraq. They made a judgement, a correct one, over five years ago.

    Bush, and the newly empowered Democratic House and Senate, ignored the wishes of the American people and sent in an additional 20,000 troops. Obama praised the results of this escalation as having "succeeded beyond our wildest dreams".

    The people made a judgement.
    The politicians ignored that judgement.

    And of course, there is the lingering reality that there will still be 50,000 troops left behind, some 75,000 contractors, five huge "enduring bases" and an Embassy the size of Vatican City.

    An excellent article about this reality from the "Veterans for Peace" website.

    But of course, Obama couldn't be expected to know this.

    So (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:14:26 AM EST
    You expected him to pullth troops and announce, as president, that the war was a huge failure and waste?


    Obama is on record as having opposed the war but he can't say that as president, obviously.


    He does have that serious issue (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:25:51 AM EST
    with truth, yes.

    Poor guy. He apparently has a fairly envious medical insurance plan that probably covers psychological treatment too.

    Maybe he'll seek help for his "truth" issues.


    Iran Will Clear up the Confusion (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by ScottW714 on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 02:29:41 PM EST
    The same fever/fears are starting to simmer.  Our intelligence is saying they are packing, while other countries say they aren't capable.

    I really hope calmer heads prevail, but pretty much anything that involves the heavy hitting special interests, Obama has towed the line, and yeah ABG, BS bargains are towing the line IMO.

    The bomb makers are going to tolerate peace for very long.


    Really? Not capable? (none / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:39:31 PM EST
    Still, they pulled no punches, drawing heavily on a recent IAEA report based on intelligence from more than 10 nations that concluded that some alleged clandestine activities by Iran could not be used for any other purpose than making nuclear arms.



    So ... (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Erehwon on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:54:33 PM EST
    Pakistan, Russia, China, India, and Israel (?), etc. all have bombs. So why shouldn't Iran if the Iranians are so inclined? Or is it Manifest Destiny all over again? Or worse?

    For the record, I don't think anybody need to have the bomb, but it would be hypocrisy to claim that some animals are more equal.

    And (none / 0) (#87)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 01:13:30 AM EST
    Great Britain and France.

    I'll Stick with Groundhog Day (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by ScottW714 on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 09:15:09 PM EST
    I don't wanna see Obama in 5 years looking under chairs for nukes as some sort of classless joke.

    Sorry, but the dikweeds that are suppose to know these things, or at least claimed they did, were dead wrong not too long ago.  It cost Americans way too much in spirit, agony, stature, and taxes for anyone to jump in without some solid verification beyond the people who were wrong.

    But what's almost as offensive, the idiots who were wrong, like yourself, are now the ones who demanding we do the exact same thing and are believing the exact same BS and who will undoubtedly get us in the exact same non-sense we just got out of.  I am tired of the Homer Simpsons demanding we keep sticking our finger in the socket to see what happens.

    How about we let the people that were right figure this one out, and the people who were wrong should have the fortitude to own up to it and stay out of the debate.  Because way too many people paid way too high a cost for us to go into Iran as haphazardly as we did in Iraq.

    Reasonable people learn from their mistakes.


    What to say (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by christinep on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:55:46 PM EST
    Look, Edger, I think the war wasn't worth it, you think it wasn't worth it, most people also find that it wasn't worth it.

    The issue really isn't whether the war was worth it. Only the die-hard Cheneys of the world believe it was. The issue is the in-your-face stuff (similar, in fact, to the likes of a Cheney never-give-an-inch type)that would occur if a President said that directly after all that everyone here & there have suffered. For example: The American troops. And more "for example": The wounded troops & the survivors/families...what should a humanitarian, thoughtful, caring President say to them?

    I suggest that no good person or President should ever look our military families, with their sufferings, in the eye and say that the war was nothing/a crock/stunk/other judgemental words. No...a person who would lead this country and all its people would thank all who contributed, who suffered, who cared, and let history be the final judge. President Obama did exactly what he should have done.  

    <BTW, even tho most of us consider that history will show the war to have been a giant negative on the "worth it" scale, we also can be mature enough to await that verdict and to rebuild.>


    Obama opposed the war (2.00 / 1) (#35)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 02:05:32 PM EST
    and pulled our troops out.

    There is no issue of truth with respect to the war in Iraq.


    He promised to pull out by the end (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Towanda on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:19:57 PM EST
    of 2009, and then by the end of 2010, and then tried to get the Iraquis to override the 2008 agreement to pull out by the end of 2012.  That doesn't quite measure up as opposing the war.

    That agreement, enforced today, was not made by Obama.  It was made by Bush.  Of course, Repubs wanted out of it, too.

    So the truth is that the credit goes to the ones who really opposed the war, the ones who suffered the most from it:  the Iraquis.  They're burning American flags.  That does not bode well.


    He said all combat troops would (none / 0) (#67)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:33:36 PM EST
    be taken out.  

    During the 2008 campaign, he talked about leaving a residual force of up to 30,000.  This is why Dennis Kucinich took objection at the time....


    Knowing What I Know Today (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by ScottW714 on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 09:27:36 PM EST
    I would say Obama was against the war for many reasons, all of them self-serving.

    And for the record, pulling the troops out isn't the same as bringing them home.  Which is what we assumed.  Who the F cares if he moved them from one war zone to another, I am sure the troops aren't as positive about their new homes as you are.

    The whole point of his campaign shtick was people wanted the US bringing our kids home, not doubling down in Afghanistan.


    That is what he promised in 2008 (none / 0) (#76)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 09:37:12 PM EST
    And the 20 odd bases (none / 0) (#88)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 01:22:03 AM EST
    we have surrounding Iran.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 12:48:52 AM EST
    Because it was a huge failure and a waste by any sensible judgement.

    You're telling us that American Presidents should continue the trend as sniveling little managers.  

    No room for leadership, eh.


    Obama made one (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 02:11:32 AM EST
    little speech.

    Since then he supported the war.

    He supported Lieberman.

    He didn't say a word at the 2004 Convention.



    A leader with (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 02:20:26 AM EST
    integrity, who cared about the American people, would have declared this to have been an unmitigated disaster and a betrayal.
    He would vow that he would do what he could to see that it never happened again.

    But Obama is out to protect his own.

    He is a typically ambitious self-serving politician.
    No more. No less. No more.


    I (none / 0) (#31)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 01:36:01 PM EST
    don't expect anything from this charlatan.

    Although much uncertainty (none / 0) (#51)
    by KeysDan on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:48:46 PM EST
    remains for Iraq, we should celebrate the departure of US troops. In view of the colossal mistakes and failures, we are fortunate to be able to extract ourselves as best we can in nine years.  President Obama's campaign promise was to be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in.  It took more of that care than I felt necessary, but the pressures to stay, let alone move out sometime in this century, must have been enormous.  McCain felt during the campaign that 100 years might be necessary, and he is still in an incoherent rant about it all.

     It is understandable that the president presents words of comfort and graciousness at the time of exit, focusing on a salute to the troops for their service and bravery.  And, it would be encouraging if his words "it is harder to end a war than start one"  (Ft Bragg, Dec 14, 2011) mean something has been learned.

    I do hope, however, that President Obama will, in the future, go light on false equivalencies, such as "patriots on both sides of the debate"  (he opposed it and he was right, it was not a flip of the coin matter, and we need not wait for "history" to inform us of the deceit for entry and the corruption of  occupation ....starting with Rummy's cavalier  "stuff happens" and  Paul Bremer and his ideological band of incompetents' disastrous administration.  


    lets not forget... (5.00 / 7) (#5)
    by pluege2 on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:24:30 AM EST
    • the invasion was both illegal and unnecessary
    • none of the war criminals that promulgated the abomination have been prosecuted or brought to justice
    • Iraq's infrastructure and environment were destroyed, continuing to cause suffering and death.
    • The wonton use of depleted uranium by the US is both illegal and leaves a poisoned environment for 100s of years
    • millions were displaced
    • in the US, only the soldiers fought - average Americans barely noticed.

    A good question (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:05:38 AM EST
    to ask is was it worth it in the opinions of those Iraqis who survived this massacre.

    I suspect that those whose families were destroyed would have a an immediate opinion to offer as contrasted to Obama's "history will tell" amoral bromide.

    And my question: Why are Bush, Cheney and Condi allowed to walk free?  

    And one additional question: What is the "it" in was it worth "it"?

    The destruction of our economy?
    The evisceration of our constitution?
    The mass murder inflicted on the Iraqis?
    The destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure?
    The morphing of our democracy into a corporate dictatorship?
    The deaths and wounds inflicted upon our soldiers, many of whom had signed up for the National Guard?
    The knowledge that our national leadership supported and encouraged the use of torture?
    The knowledge that our national leadership openly and deliberately lied to the American people and the world and have yet to be held to account for it.

    Was any of this worth what?
    What is the "it" in was "it" worth it?

    What I see is that we allowed Bush the son to use American soldiers, our young people, as a means to avenge Bush the Elder's reputation.

    The IBC number is extremely low (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by observed on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 07:18:17 AM EST
    In fact, it's unbelievable.

    Yes, it's more (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:39:41 AM EST
    than a million too low.

    I was privileged last night (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:27:31 AM EST
    to be able to thank a newly returned soldier for wrapping that Iraq situation up.  He gave me a crooked wry smile.  It's over for the most part, what a horrible life destroying mess though.

    He said that the majority of soldiers serving with him though did not get to come home.  They are being sent to Kuwait and Afghanistan.

    Sending soldiers to serve in Afghanistan right out of Iraq might explain the strange troop movements that concerned someone, and they then contacted the Sibel Edmonds blog about.

    I didn't know they were going to ship soldiers out of Iraq right into Afghanistan for Christmas.  I'm sure it wasn't what any of them wanted for Christmas.  But that's often the super suck it up that is a soldier and their family's life.

    Slightly OT (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 09:03:53 AM EST
    Reading this kind of reminded me this morning of Michael Corleone giving his brother Fredo the kiss of death.

    Leon Panetta said on Saturday that Tripoli could become an important security partner of Washington as he visited Libya for talks with new regime officials.

    "We are and will be your friend and partner," Panetta said at a news conference with Libyan Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib.

    "This new and free Libya can become an important security partner of the United States," he said, adding that Washington was looking forward to building a close partnership.

    Iraq, Libya, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, whatever....


    U.S. Planning Troop Buildup in Gulf After Exit From Iraq

    MacDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Obama administration plans to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws the remaining troops from Iraq this year, according to officials and diplomats. That repositioning could include new combat forces in Kuwait able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran.
    During town-hall-style meetings with military personnel in Asia [in October], the secretary of defense, Leon E. Panetta, noted that the United States had 40,000 troops in the region, including 23,000 in Kuwait, though the bulk of those serve as logistical support for the forces in Iraq.
    Panetta's "region" count does not include Afghanistan, where by the end of 2012 after his drawdown Obama will have only twice as many troops in Afghanistan as were there on the day he was inaugurated.

    Not Obama's fault though. He's only the Commander-in-Chief. He has no control over Panetta. He works for Panetta (and others).


    Sweet Jesus (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 09:15:16 AM EST
    This new and free Libya?  I hope so, but I got me a few doubts.

    The troop build up in the Middle East.  Yeah, I figured.  I thought they would at least send them home for Christmas though.


    Well, it's a very dangerous situation you see (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 09:19:57 AM EST
    All the "repositioning" has to be done because Iran has the US Surrounded (12/12/2011 satellite image) in the "region", so it wouldn't be, ummm, "pragmatic(?)" to reposition the troops back to the US....

    My husband says that Kuwait and (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 09:16:42 AM EST
    Saudia Arabia want us there though for awhile to see how Iraq goes.

    Obama did well in Libya (2.00 / 1) (#36)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 02:07:13 PM EST
    There are no U.S. troops in Libya.

    Surging and withdrawing troops-- (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 09:19:18 AM EST
    at the same time seems to be a curious strategy.

    They may be going to Afghanistan (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 01:21:33 PM EST
    in order to fill vacant slots of troops that must leave Afghanistan because their year+ is up.  I would suspect that is what they doing verses increasing numbers present.

    I didn't ask last night.  It was enough that he was gone for a year and now returned home.  His wife was very happy.  It was a time to be happy for a moment.


    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:44:21 AM EST
    Bush's war???

    Hmmmm, I guess those 99 Senators had nothing to do with it.

    Those 99 senators had nothing to do with the (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Angel on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 10:36:54 AM EST
    lies that Dubya and Cheney ginned up.  Nothing.  So, yes, it was Dubya's war.  And no, it wasn't worth the lost lives, the trillions of dollars spent, the plundering of our economy, and all the other negatives that were a result of the war.  

    Next question, please.


    President Bush sought Congressional (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by KeysDan on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 12:42:38 PM EST
    authorization for military action against Iraq and he got it. (cf. AUMF Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.   House: R, 215 ayes; D, 82 ayes, 126 nays; I, l.  (two not voting).   Senate: R, 48 ayes, l nay; D, 28 ayes, 21 nays; I. )    

    Weak crap Jim (none / 0) (#85)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 12:52:07 AM EST
    it's always the fault of the little people, eh Jim.

    So When Is That Statue to Geoge W Bush (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by john horse on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 09:03:48 AM EST
    going to be erected by all those grateful Iraqis?  (sarcasm alert)

    My guess is after they find the missing WMDs.  But come to think of it, our invasion of Iraq was a weapon of mass destruction.  After 4,500 American soldiers killed, countless civilian casualites, billions spent, the country is still in chaos.  Mission accomplished.

    The majority of Iraqis (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 11:43:29 AM EST
    favored Hussein. Our involvement was based on our intelligence information that said he had WMD's. It was wrong. What he had, and what was shown, was a desire to and a plan to develop WMD's.

    So we acted.

    Iran now has the same desire and is being allowed to act on it.

    Without intervention by ourselves and/or the Israelis we will most likely suffer the result of Obama's and the anti-war Left's foreign policy.


    Bush was certain Saddam had WMDs (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 12:27:54 PM EST
    Nice snark, Yman (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 12:53:42 PM EST
    but you fail to address the issue.

    1. All of the world's major intelligence agencies believed.

    2. 99 Senators agreed.

    Would you prefer a Prez that ignored national security threats? Didn't you just recently criticize Bush over 9/11? (That Bush did not doesn't stop the Demos from trying.)

    All of the major intelligence did not believe (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 01:27:42 PM EST
    AND the inspectors were in country and had to be forced to leave in order to avoid being caught in the middle of the invasion.  A CIA agent was outed on purpose trying to shut her and her god damned husband up because they were revealing the lies, and the Bush administration was going to war.  They didn't need no stinkin intelligence.  They never did.  They didn't need any stinkin intelligence on bin Laden either.  They were their own intelligence.

    The world did not go to Iraq with us Jim.  Our NATO allies almost abandoned us in Afghanistan too because they all knew from the beginning the reasons for Iraq were a bunch of lies, crap, and garbage.  They wanted little to do with us after that.  We were not credible.  We were dangerous.


    Tell me, with links, who the (none / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:44:33 PM EST
    major agencies were that said Saddam had no WMD's.

    That our so-called Allies didn't respond speaks to their fear of retaliation by the Muslim terrorists.


    The weapons inspectors (5.00 / 0) (#61)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:02:48 PM EST
    in early 2003 could not find WMDs after Saddam Hussein stopped playing games with the inspections and allowed the inspections to go forward without any interference or delays.

    Voila! Jim (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:32:36 PM EST
    Here is Hans Blix's UN Security Council supplemental report dated 7 March 2003.  He says in more than one place that he hasn't found any WMD.

    A couple of excerpts:

    In matters relating to process, notably prompt access to sites, we have faced relatively few difficulties and certainly much less than those that were faced by UNSCOM in the period 1991 to 1998.

    And this:

    This is not to say that the operation of inspections is free from frictions, but at this juncture we are able to perform professional no-notice inspections all over Iraq and to increase aerial surveillance


    In the last month, Iraq has provided us with the names of many persons, who may be relevant sources of information, in particular, persons who took part in various phases of the unilateral destruction of biological and chemical weapons, and proscribed missiles in 1991.


    As I noted on 14 February, intelligence authorities have claimed that weapons of mass destruction are moved around Iraq by trucks and, in particular, that there are mobile production units for biological weapons.  The Iraqi side states that such activities do not exist.  Several inspections have taken place at declared and undeclared sites in relation to mobile production facilities.  Food testing mobile laboratories and mobile workshops have been seen, as well as large containers with seed processing equipment.  No evidence of proscribed activities have so far been found.

    No undergound facilities were found either:

    There have been reports, denied from the Iraqi side, that proscribed activities are conducted underground.  Iraq should provide information on any underground structure suitable for the production or storage of WMD.  During inspections of declared or undeclared facilities, inspection teams have examined building structures for any possible underground facilities.  In addition, ground penetrating radar equipment was used in several specific locations.  No underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far.  

    Blix could finish his work quickly:

    How much time would it take to resolve the key remaining disarmament tasks?  While cooperation can and is to be immediate, disarmament and at any rate the verification of it cannot be instant.  Even with a proactive Iraqi attitude, induced by continued outside pressure, it would still take some time to verify sites and items, analyse documents, interview relevant persons, and draw conclusions.  It would not take years, nor weeks, but months.

    Blix was clear that war was not necessary to make sure Iraq did not have WMD.  Funny that conservatives do not remember this.  I was struck by this at the time and never forgot it.


    And, there was Scott Ritter's, former UN (none / 0) (#97)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 10:16:06 AM EST
    weapons inspector's questioning of  Saddam's WMD.   (he was discredited, with the on-line sting charges).

    Considering (none / 0) (#56)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:25:28 PM EST
    the fact that Iraq has been a colossal waste of time, resources and money and showed no connection to terrorism you could say that they were a heck of a lot smarter than we were.

    Bush's lies and idiocy cost more American lives than 9/11. What a record!!


    Do (none / 0) (#82)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 12:08:49 AM EST
    your own research if you really want to know.

    Life must be (none / 0) (#90)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 01:53:38 AM EST
    terribly frightening for you Jim.

    Why don't you provide links (FOX, worldnewsnet, newsmax don't count) that identify which of our allies were too scared of terrorists to join our ignoble cause.


    Oh piffle. (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by lentinel on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 01:41:23 PM EST
    Senators "agreed". What a crock.

    They, like everyone else, were afraid to express what they knew:
    That they, like we, were being railroaded into a costly, useless and unjustifiable war.

    Everyone I knew knew that this was a bunch of bullsh*t.
    I certainly did.

    I would prefer, to use your phraseology, that a president be aware of real threats to our national security - instead of using the specter of "national security" to launch a war for personal gain.


    Yes, all those Senators (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:47:27 PM EST
    were just scared to death of Bush.

    Please. Be serious.

    BTW - Are you and everyone you knew in the intelligence gathering business?

    No? Thought so.


    Millions (5.00 / 4) (#81)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 12:04:36 AM EST
    of Americans took to the streets to protest this deliberately induced insanity and hysteria. They were not fooled.

    What a laugh: "The intelligence gathering business". Please.

    (Even ol' conservative don't make waves Obama knew that this was "dumb" - although if he had been in the Senate at the time, I'm sure he would have voted for it anyway.)

    They were afraid to be labeled as being "soft on terrorism" - just as their predecessors were afraid to be labeled "soft on Communism" when they were being railroaded into giving Lyndon  the go-ahead for the war in Vietnam.

    They figured it would be another short romp - a little "shock and awe", a little trade show for new "smart weapons", a few hundred thousand killed - and no one would notice.


    I also knew it was (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 01:58:45 AM EST
    bullcrap Jim as did many others.

    I and many others don't have to be in intel to smell a load of horsesh!t.

    Apparently you're gullible enough to buy into any load of sh!t that's flung your way.  Herr Goebbels would have loved you.  


    Heh (5.00 / 5) (#34)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 01:51:59 PM EST
    All of the world's major intelligence agencies believed.

    Believed what, Jim?  Believed all the lies they were selectively fed from the Bush administration - aluminum "nuclear" tubes, mobile anthrax laboratories, imaginary purchases of yellowcake ... too many to count.  Believed all the sales pitches about the "gathering threat" and imminent danger presented by Saddam's future intentions?  Heh.  Maybe Reagan and GW's daddy shouldn't have provided all those weapons and approved the chemical/anthrax sales to Saddam in the first place, huh?

    Do you mean like the September Dossier?  Guess the Brits were just following GW's lead - trying to "sex up" the case for going to war.

    Not everyone bought Bushes lies ... particularly those who were in the best position to know.  But Bush didn't care - he got the authority to go to war and that's all he cared about.

    99 Senators agreed.

    No - they didn't.  They voted for the AUMF, believing that the President should have the authority and would exercise it wisely.  Why anyone would trust Bush is a good question, though ...

    Would you prefer a Prez that ignored national security threats? Didn't you just recently criticize Bush over 9/11? (That Bush did not doesn't stop the Demos from trying.)

    Right - Bush did call a meeting where the focus was on threats overseas, where no one was given a plan, where no one was even instructed on how they should deal with overseas threats (let alone domestic threats), and where they were specifically told they couldn't share the vague information they were given.

    Heckuva job, Bushy!


    For me, It's scarier today (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by NYShooter on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 02:34:27 PM EST
    than it was then. Sends chills up my spine just thinking about it.

    The idea that this Man-Boy, this stunted ne'er-do-well, this spoiled brat, was handed the reins to the greatest military power the world has ever known.  And, just as he delighted himself with pulling the wings off of flies, he grabbed the joy stick of our military forces and played with them like they were an X-Box.

    Those poor Iraqi people; from the hell of Saddam, to the greater hell of an American Punk who delighted in treating them like those flies.

    George W. Bush..."born again"....follower of Christ...."We're a Christian Nation."

    Up yours!


    Strongly stated. (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 02:35:45 PM EST
    Up mine? How nice. (none / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:49:44 PM EST
    But that is your typical way of debating.

    No surprise.

    And thanks for showing us who you are!


    The focus was overseas? Nope (none / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:58:13 PM EST
    "At the special meeting on July 5 were the FBI, Secret Service, FAA, Customs, Coast Guard, and Immigration. We told them that we thought a spectacular al Qaeda terrorist attack was coming in the near future." That had been had been George Tenet's language. "We asked that they take special measures to increase security and surveillance. Thus, the White House did ensure that domestic law enforcement including the FAA knew that the CSG believed that a major al Qaeda attack was coming, and it could be in the U.S., and did ask that special measures be taken."

    Why would all these domestic agencies be warned if the threat was only overseas?

    Heckuva job, Yman! But the evidence proves you wrong.


    Heh - a link to Condie Rice ... (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:26:22 PM EST
    ... on a self-serving softball interview on Faux News is evidence?

    Gotta raise the bar a bit, Jim.  Maybe if you looked at the 9-11 Commission Report you would know that the meeting DID, in fact focus on overseas threats:

    This lack of direction was evident in the July 5 meeting with representatives from the domestic agencies. The briefing focused on overseas threats. The domestic agencies were not questioned about how they planned to address the threat and were not told what was expected of them. Indeed, as noted earlier, they were specifically told they could not issue advisories based on the briefing. The domestic agencies' limited response indicates that they did not perceive a call to action.

    So Condi says we warned the agencies and it was up to them to take action, despite the fact that:

    1.  The July 5 meeting focused on overseas threats.

    2.  The domestic agencies had no "playbook" to deal with these threats and were given no instructions to come up with one.

    3.  The attendees were specifically instructed they couldn't disseminate the information they were given at the meeting.

    "Heckuva job, Bushie!" - your friend, Jim.

    I will go with facts (none / 0) (#49)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:41:52 PM EST
    if the belief was that the threat was overseas, then there was no reason to warn the FAA and other domestic agencies.

    And yes, the agencies were expected to take action. That's why we have a FBI, FAA, Coast Guard, etc., etc.

    Heckuva a dodging job, Yman. Your factman, Jim.



    You will go with the fairytale (none / 0) (#52)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 04:54:25 PM EST
    ... as usual.  The fact is that the 9-11 Commission looked at all of the evidence and based their conclusions on what the attendees of the meeting all agreed on - the meeting focused on overseas threats.

    But maybe we should go with what Jim says, instead.


    BTW - Uhhhhhmmmmm ... the (very obvious) reason they would warn agencies like the FAA is because these agencies deal with foreign governments as part of their job, and they have offices/facilities overseas.

    "No charge for the education".



    Ah yes (none / 0) (#54)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:14:41 PM EST
    he FBI, Secret Service, FAA, Customs, Coast Guard, and Immigration.

    all of those agencies who only have overseas offices.....

    Really, you are grasping.


    What?!? (none / 0) (#55)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:18:42 PM EST
    Are you seriously claiming those agencies do not have offices/personnel overseas?

    Are you seriously claiming (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:31:22 PM EST
    that have no domestic offices?


    BTW, you should read the report you loved to refer to.

    However, it went on to emphasize that the possibility of attack in the United States could not be discounted. It also noted that the July 4 holiday might heighten the threats. The report asked recipients to "exercise extreme vigilance" and "report suspicious activities" to the FBI. It did not suggest specific actions that they should take to prevent attacks.19

    Again ... what?!? (none / 0) (#64)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 07:01:05 PM EST
    Are you seriously claiming that have no domestic offices?

    Uh, .... no, Jim.  I was pointing out the obvious flaw in your logic - that the meeting must have focused on domestic threats because they are domestic agencies.  Obviously, as the 9-11 Commission reported, that is not the case, and the meeting focused on overseas threats .... much as you fantasize otherwise.

    BTW - Interesting place to begin a quote ... oh, look what you omitted!:

    On July 2, the FBI Counterterrorism Division sent a message to federal agencies and state and local law enforcement agencies summarizing information regarding threats from Bin Ladin. It warned that there was an increased volume of threat reporting, indicating a potential for attacks against U.S. targets abroad from groups "aligned with or sympathetic to Usama Bin Ladin." Despite the general warnings, the message further stated, "The FBI has no information indicating a credible threat of terrorist attack in the United States."

    Heckuva job, Bushie!


    Again, from your source (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:45:42 PM EST
    However, it went on to emphasize that the possibility of attack in the United States could not be discounted.

    So everyone was warned.

    One more time then I'm done with you because you again just want to attack Bush. I guess as a long time BDS carrier you just cannot help it.

    So I'll say good night, you really aren't worth anymore of my time tonight!


    Hahahahahahahaha ... (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 10:15:59 PM EST
    ... the possibility of attack in the United States could not be discounted.

    Yeah ... that's a "warning"

    Hahahahahahahahah ....

    Along with a complete focus on overseas threats, zero direction, and a gag order preventing them from discussing the overseas threats their supposed to deal with.

    You're funny.


    ROTFLMAO (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:27:21 PM EST
    Condi "mushroom cloud" Rice. Her reputation is forever ruined. No one believes anything that comes out of her mouth.

    Are you claiming that (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 05:33:00 PM EST
    the meeting never happened? That the agencies weren't warned?

    I mean, really. Are you serious? Can you provide any information backing up your claim or did you just want to slur Rice?


    I am (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 06:59:51 PM EST
    claiming that Condi is NOT credible. She was the one running around screaming like her hair was on fire and saying "mushroom cloud". Great comedy if her stupidity hadn't cost so many American lives and that is not funny.

    No matter how many times you try to blame someone else for this disaster or make excuses for the Bush Administration, it doesn't change the fact that they were wrong, hugely wrong and disastrously wrong.

    It's one of the reasons that the GOP is NEVER to be trusted with foreign policy. If you have idiots who can't even read the intel or cherry pick it, you are going to have mistake after mistake after mistake. As bad as Obama has been in general, foreign policy generally has been his one shining spot granted the standards after Bush are abysmally low...


    Obama's foreign policy (none / 0) (#66)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:30:51 PM EST
    is his shining spot??

    Lordy,lordy, GA. Surely you jest.


    Yes, it is. (none / 0) (#68)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:37:03 PM EST
    You will see with time most agree on this.

    Let me see (none / 0) (#71)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:52:19 PM EST
    Lost an opportunity to support demonstrators who wanted to change regime in Iran.

    Supported demonstrators in Egypt that has led to Islamic extremists taking control.

    Allow over a thousand SAMs in Libya.

    Abandoned Iraq.

    Allowed Iran to continue development of nuclear weapons...

    Need I go on?


    "allow Iran".. (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 02:36:57 PM EST
    how about encouraged them in every way short of selling them the actual technology, by invading countries along their eastern and western borders..

    How did hell-bent-fer-leather, grandstanding, idiot-America think Iran was going to respond to that scenario?


    Allow over a thousand SAMs in Libya. (none / 0) (#73)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:54:04 PM EST
    to be lost.

    Overhyped (none / 0) (#77)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 09:40:39 PM EST
    irrelevant trivialities.

    Or did the right thing (none / 0) (#80)
    by MKS on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 10:22:23 PM EST
    SAMS (none / 0) (#99)
    by MKS on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 12:39:12 PM EST
    SAMS require a lot of skill and supporting equipment to be effective.  You need sophisticated radar and electronics and trained personnel to launch.  If someone has all that, they probably have a missile already too.

    Random terrorists couldn't do diddly squat with SAMs.....

    My Dad was career military, and when in Air Defense, commanded a battalion of SAMS.  For my birthday, I got to flip the switch to actually launch one at a target drone.  


    Yeah (none / 0) (#96)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 08:29:46 AM EST

    Just wait until the airlines start using combat conditions landings and take offs.

    You'll love'em!


    In reality, Jim (none / 0) (#70)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:50:07 PM EST
    Foreign policy is Obama's "shining spot".  His ratings aren't great, by any means, but compared to other issues (and compared to Bush - as GA noted) - they're much better.

    Good night, Yman (none / 0) (#72)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:52:51 PM EST
    I think (none / 0) (#94)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 02:15:53 AM EST
    that some consider killing Osama to be a "foreign policy" triumph.

    Zoom (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 12:08:10 PM EST

    Zoom zoom (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 01:22:10 PM EST
    You know (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 01:51:15 PM EST
    I bet he'd do really well writing for The Onion, maybe?

    Heh. He certainly brings tears to my eyes sometimes... ;-)


    OMG (none / 0) (#86)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 01:04:28 AM EST
    Desire to ...   Plan to ...

    So does every other tin horn dictator.

    Now we're down at least a trillion, we have the blood of our own and the blood of others on our hands and our shameful, unprovoked invasion helped strengthen Iran.  Boffo job right-wingers.

    You haven't learned a damn thing and I suspect you never will.

    You and your fellow travelers are running this nation into the ground.


    Huh (none / 0) (#89)
    by cal1942 on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 01:43:07 AM EST
    What about the IAEA on ACTUAL inspection.

    No. (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by Angel on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 10:34:35 AM EST

    Bush should be rotting in prison somewhere (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by desertswine on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 03:10:16 PM EST
    along with Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Rumsfeld, Hadley, Yoo and all the rest of that devilish cabal that murdered so many and bankrupt the country morally and financially.

    we're not done paying yet (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by desmoinesdem on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 10:05:08 PM EST
    I have to agree with Ron Paul on one thing: he said in one of the recent debates that we're only "pretending" to fully withdraw from Iraq. We're going to have something like 17,000 military contractors there.

    Not to (none / 0) (#93)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 02:13:22 AM EST
    mention that there will still be 50,000 troops there - or next door.

    And the largest embassy in the world.

    What a mess.


    Not to besmirch Ron Paul's credibility - this is (none / 0) (#98)
    by Farmboy on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 11:32:10 AM EST
    the true hero who warned us about how Obama and the UN wants to confiscate our firearms and impose a global tax -.but searching online finds no evidence of any US troops left in Iraq for any reason.

    Every news release, up to and including the Dept. of Defense, says they all left:

    U.S. and Kuwaiti troops unite to close the gate between Kuwait and Iraq after the last military convoys passed through.

    So, my serious question is, can someone cite a real source that says we're actually leaving 20k or 50k or 100k troops in Iraq after 2011?


    "was it worth it?" (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by CST on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 01:33:43 PM EST
    I can't really figure out what "it" is.

    Saddam gone?  I don't think any American is qualified to answer that question.

    If you are looking at it in purely American terms the answer is obviously no, since nothing was gained.  If you look at it in Iraqi terms, my hunch is also no, since if it was yes, we wouldn't have had to invade the country.

    Whatever anyone wants to say about Libya - at least the Libyans started it.

    Maybe some Libyans started it (none / 0) (#101)
    by Edger on Mon Dec 19, 2011 at 02:07:30 PM EST
    but it was coopted and usurped pretty fast by Washington...

    The Secret War Against Libya

    A secret army was recruited from among the many Libyans captured in border battles with Chad during the 1980s. And, as concern grew in MI6 over Gadafi's alleged plans to develop chemical weapons, Britain funded various opposition groups in Libya including the London-based Libyan National Movement.

    Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?

    "Americans, Britons and the French are finding themselves as comrades in arms with the rebel Islamic Fighting Group, the most radical element in the Al Qaeda network [to bring down Gaddhafi]. Secretary of State Hillary Clintonz admitted the risks of the unholy alliance in a congressional hearing, saying that the Libyan opposition is probably more anti-American than Muammar Gaddhafi. A decade ago, this very same delusion of a Western-Islamist partnership in Kosovo, Bosnia and Chechnya ended abruptly in the 9/11 attacks."12

    Libya: 'Humanitarian' Snow Job

    You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obamaz administration and the House of Saud. Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a "yes" vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya - the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.
    a full Arab League endorsement of a no-fly zone is a myth. Of the 22 full members, only 11 were present at the voting. Six of them were Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, the US-supported club of Gulf kingdoms/sheikhdoms, of which Saudi Arabia is the top dog. Syria and Algeria were against it. Saudi Arabia only had to "seduce" three other members to get the vote.

    Translation: only nine out of 22 members of the Arab League voted for the no-fly zone. The vote was essentially a House of Saud-led operation

    Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya have all been "liberated", and now Washington is gearing up to "liberate" Syria, with the eventual target being Iran.


    The Wrong Question (none / 0) (#8)
    by koshembos on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 08:09:49 AM EST
    The question should not be "is it worth it," but rather the general question of whether the US has the moral right to intervene in a country such as Iraq. Dies any country have the right to intervene militarily in another country? If there is, e.g. Rwanda, where does the line pass?

    The price in lost lives, broken bodies, broken futures and damaged kids is huge even if you have 10% of the Iraq war human cost.

    We cannot ignore the fact that the Bush intervention with almost a wall to wall popular support was based on lies. We cannot ignore the other major fact of the war that both the US civilian and military authorities ran an inept war that directly caused the casualties and damage to sky rocket. (Remember the lack of bullet proof vests?)

    Military intervention carries a huge cost. Sanctions carry a substantial cost too. We know now, due to the contribution to the moral discourse by the young people of OWS, that sanction affect the 99% severely; they have no impact on the ruling 1%.

    Is there such a line and if there is how do we delineate it?

    We were just watching this topic (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 09:12:35 AM EST
    being discussed on Up with Chris Hayes.  I have decided that I don't care much for Anne-Marie Slaughter.  She speaks highly of the good we could do, and there is some kind of pragmatic standard that a country must meet in order to qualify for our military interventions BUT......

    How do all these brainiacs continue to forget over and over and over again that the U.S. military hit a CRISIS point in Iraq?  They had to stop-loss their troops.

    I figure it this way.  As long as the military is all volunteer you will have the exact amount of time needed to force your nation into a war that does not directly have to do with its safety, and then get your ass in so much hot water that you will spend your political retirement trying to hide your face from the public until you die.

    It will take a year trying to get the authorizations needed, or at least enough political will.  It will then take a year to establish yourself in the country to the point that you can "help" these people.  A year from then, that is when things will begin to get real tough.  Your enemy will have organized against you and be attacking with increasing rates of success.

    Most soldiers sign on for four years, some for six but most for four.  When the first body bags start coming home, that's when the spouses start getting really upset.  You have those secret conversations late at night in the dark.  As a couple and a family you begin to weigh and discuss whether or not this "situation" justifies the death of your loved one.  If the "situation" isn't one about our country being in danger, then the answer is almost always NO.  So plans are made to not re-enlist when time is up, and to stay alive however that can be accomplished.  Attempt to be moved elsewhere, get your MOS changed if you can.

    By the time you hit that 1,000 body bag a year mark, the families have gone wild.  Soldiers are being threatened....get out or you get a divorce.  Many soldiers will be left as this all goes down too.  They won't even get a warning, they will simply be left.  War is not for the weak in spirit.  Those soldiers seemed lost, and they would dedicate themselves to the fight because all they had left were their other soldiers.  They would fight for them, they will fight to protect those who must go.

    Soldiers begin to experience combat stress too.  They aren't all redeployable, even if you've managed to hang onto them.  Nobody is standing in line to sign up to be in the next body bag though.  You are starting to look a little phucked now.  Everybody who can get out is getting out, nobody is signing up, half your stuff is broken.  So you pull the stop-loss, and your troops were already experiencing low morale so when you do that....that is the equivalent of NUKING the morale of your troops.

    It takes a new leader promising to and then sending everyone out of the country we came to save to restore functionality again to the volunteer forces system.  Take away the all volunteer reality, these bastards and Anne-Marie Slaughter would do another Vietnam as soon as they could find one.  It is literally as if they are salivating for another one.