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The Iraq War can refer to either of two recent history conflicts - the short term invasion under George H.W. Bush by the United States in order to "revert" Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, or the long term full-bore invasion, again by the U.S. under George W. Bush, originally named "Operation Iraqi Liberation" (O.I.L.).
The former (more commonly known as the Gulf War) was a relative success at restoring a despotic absolute monarchy (which is strange given that the United States was founded on a revolution against monarchy), especially if you don't buy into the theory that the U.S. could have prevented the invasion of Kuwait by using less bloody means. The retreating Iraqi army was, however, mercilessly slaughtered as they tried to return to Baghdad.
The latter appears to have been, in the words of some, "the worst foreign policy disaster in American history." The U.S. was mired in Iraq for a good eight years, with a steady "trickle" of dead U.S. soldiers, a horrible flow of maimed U.S. soldiers, a disastrous flood of tortured, dead or displaced Iraqi civilians, and ongoing monetary costs that boggle the mind. The war was ended in December 2011, following plans by Dubya and current President Obama. While the Afghanistan War can be argued as necessary due to the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War was started based on false pretenses.
Notably, the architects of the latter war (chickenhawks to a man) completely misjudged the extent, costs, and results of this adventure. What follows is a discussion of the second U.S. Iraq debacle.
 Watch the Canadians predict what would happen three months before
No, seriously, that was from December 31, 2002.
When Coalition forces led by the United States of America invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003, news media heralded the initiation of the Iraq War. When George W. Bush announced the end of major combat operations on May 1, 2003 the war "ended" and the formal occupation of Iraq began, the media began to refer to U.S. and U.K. efforts to administer the nation as "the Occupation of Iraq."
Some people relate the Iraq War to the Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991), and name it the Second Gulf War.
The American government gave the Iraq War the code name "Operation Iraqi Freedom."
The American and British military presence in Iraq is commonly linked to the wider-reaching "War on Terror," although that phrase has recently been jettisoned by the UK administration for sounding far too "Hollywood."
|“||We know Saddam at one time had weapons of mass destruction because we have the receipts!||”|
The American establishment offered a number of "justifications" for breaking the sovereignty of Iraq without obtaining consent from the evil United Nations. Before, during and immediately after the invasion, Coalition forces were tasked with recovering Saddam's stockpile of non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Worthy of note was the popular pun on this phrase "Weapons of Mass Distraction," alluding to the now patently false accusations made by the U.S. and U.K. establishments that such weapons existed.
When the non-existent WMDs... well, failed to exist, Dubya and Tony Blair began to preach the importance of
forcing spreading democracy onto the Iraqi people, apparently unaware of the ironic (yet again) nature of such a notion. By definition, democracy must be chosen by the people.
After the war, attention was also turned to the existence of potential programs of Weapons of Mass Destruction - in other words, "Saddam would have had them if he could." While this is certainly true, the fact that Saddam didn't actually have Weapons of Mass Destruction (and had no prospect of obtaining them) at the time of the invasion rather weakens the case. This is now getting repeated in arguments to attack the Dinner Jacket and Iran.
Subsequently the capture of Saddam was hailed as a major (and apparently the only) success - however this was not the main objective at the start of the war and looks very much like looking for justification after the event. Considering the Arab Spring could have gotten rid of him without the huge body count (or at least a good excuse for the US to intervene), it's some pretty shitty logic in hindsight.
Most recently, the U.K. military began withdrawing from major population centers in southern Iraq, stating that its presence encourages violence and disorderly conduct. Meanwhile, the U.S. splurged billions more tax-dollars on shipping out many thousands of soldiers into the nation, believing that a larger military presence will hasten the restoration of peace and civility in Iraq. By the official US withdrawal at the end of 2011, no one really knows if it worked or not.
Of course, the most important justification was 9/11, as immortalised in song by Darryl Worley. One of the landmark recordings of the decade!
Supporters of the Iraq War, particularly in the U.S., have suggested these benefits of the war:
- The no-fly zones are a thing of the past. No more risk of Saddam shootin' down one of our birds and parading a beaten and raped female Air Force captain on Al Jazeera.
- Saddam is gone, along with his two spermazoid sons.
- The Marsh Arabs have their land again, and the Kurds aren't sucking the mustard gas that we gave Saddam in the 80s.
- The Sunni Arabs have rejected al-Qaeda in Iraq and stabilized the giantic Anbar region. Well, kinda.
- Iraq is only the second "real" democracy to take root in the Middle East.
- Training exercises can never take the place of actual combat. American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, and the technology of their weapons, have been honed to such a keen edge that China or North Korea would be insane to even contemplate taking us on now, bitches.
- Iraq is no longer a threat to the region. There will be no Iraqi participation in the next Arab-Israeli war.
- The US military is now positioned between Iran and Israel, and can reach out to strike at Syria at any time.
- The US military is sitting on the world's second largest oil reserve (and is within striking distance of the largest one) just when the rate of oil production is peaking.
The rest of the world should note that "our" and "us" in the section found above seems to refer to the USA. OK, keep reading.
Many anti-war protesters believe that, contrary to the assertions of the American and British establishments, the real impetus for breaking Iraq's sovereignty was its vast quantity of oil and Saddam Hussein's refusal to sell it in dollars, preferring instead to sell the black stuff in euros. Because euros were rising against the American dollar, that would've made Iraqi oil more expensive for the United States. This should be seen in the context that, in 2002, Iraqi oil imports made up 4% of total US oil imports.
Also, world trade in oil taking place in dollars forces countries to maintain a substantial quantity of dollars on hand, creating demand for the currency and helping keep its value propped up. A shift to trade in euros would undermine this.
Australian Defense Minister Brenden Nelson said that oil was a key factor keeping Australian troops in the US-led war in Iraq. He was, however, hastily reprimanded by his boss (former Prime Minister John Howard), who reassured the news media that forcing democracy on Iraqis and preventing the spread of terrorism was his main concern. As part of the coalition, Australia had 1500 troops stationed in and around Iraq.
 Global War on Terror
The invasion of Iraq was advertised as being part of the War on Terror. Whilst the U.S. and U.K. insist upon maintaining a presence in the Middle East and introducing laws that erode civil liberties within their own nations as effective steps towards winning this "war," critics often observe that these actions have worsened security both abroad and domestically. It would appear to many that the War on Terror is also ambiguous in its aims, as there does not appear to be any universally accepted end point to such a campaign. Unlike the Iraq War, which technically ended with the fall of Baghdad on 9 April 2003, the Global War on Terror does not have any universally recognizable objectives.
 John McCain on the Iraq War
“This is a mission accomplished.”
“I don't know if you could ever say, quote 'mission accomplished,' as much as you could say 'Americans are out of harm's way.' And that's the key to America's concern — casualties.”
“My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will -- that will then prevent us -- that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.”
 More criticism
|“||I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media [to discredit me], not that I cared very much.||”|
Many in both the U.S. and the U.K. have criticized the war for this, that, or the other reason. One rather large criticism (that has led to plenty of conspiracy theories) is the use of "private contractors" to perform military tasks. One such (that may soon be leaving Iraq) is Blackwater.
McCain said he'd rather lose an election than lose a war, implying that Obama wanted to lose the Iraq War. McCain was really talking about Obama "losing" our permanent superbases in Iraq from where the dummies who got us into all this plan to project military power into Syria and Iran and any other country that threatens "Little America" there in the Middle East.
 As a distraction from Afghanistan?
Afghanistan is a stomach cancer operation, and Iraq is a nose job. About halfway through the procedure on the stomach, Michael "Dubya" Jackson told the surgeon to stop working, but keep the area irrigated, while he devoted his time and $12 billion dollars a month working on the nose. The doctor kept making mistakes, and Michael's nose kept getting more and more lopped off until it looked like one of those little noses in a Japanese cartoon. Then the surgeon said he was going to quit in a few months, but the taxpayers could pick his replacement. An old white-haired surgeon said he liked the idea of just working on the nose, for a hundred years if that’s what it took. A young black doctor said the stomach cancer was about to metastasize and he promised to shift the whole operating team away from the nose job and just work on the stomach cancer.
 End of the war
In October 2011, Barack Obama finally announced that the remaining troops in Iraq would be coming home by the end of 2011 and that the nearly nine year war could come to an end following the timetable set out in a 2008 agreement signed by Bush. The final troops left in December 2011.
 Plutarch on Iraq War type victories
“”Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one other such would utterly undo him. For he had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and almost all his particular friends and principal commanders; there were no others there to make recruits, and he found the confederates in Italy backward. On the other hand, as from a fountain continually flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was quickly and plentifully filled up with fresh men, not at all abating in courage for the loss they sustained, but even from their very anger gaining new force and resolution to go on with the war.
 See also
- Iraq War's 10th Anniversary: After the War, The Atlantic
- ↑ Ari Fleischer referring to "Operation Iraqi Liberation" (OIL).
- ↑ The Unseen Gulf War. Peter Turnley, Harvard University Nieman Reports, Spring 2003.
- ↑ Chalmers Johnson interview
- ↑ http://www.cracked.com/article/18353_the-top-5-everything-decade-for-better-worse_p2
- ↑ U.S. Imports from Iraq of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products
- ↑ U.S. Imports of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products
- ↑ Australia 'has Iraq oil interest', BBC
- ↑ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/16/AR2007091601287_pf.html
- ↑ http://www.mccainsource.com/security?id=0003
- ↑ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24418639/
- ↑ http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/05/02/974014.aspx
- ↑ Hans, you bweaking my bawls!
- ↑ Win the Battle, Lose the Election?, Politico, 10 April 2007
- ↑ McCain says Obama would rather lose a war than lose an election Front Row Washington, 22 July 2008
- ↑ You can't win someone else's civil war so it follows that you can't lose it. By the Bush administration's logic, the US already "won" the Iraq War when Saddam was toppled and they've been an occupying force ever since. You can't win an occupation, only end it.
- ↑ Curveball lies
- ↑ Uh, anyone see 190,000 weapons we lost in Iraq?
- ↑ MSNBC
- ↑ Note the irony of wingnuts that didn't want us to get out by then.
- ↑ http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/18/us-iraq-withdrawal-idUSTRE7BH03320111218