Highlights

 
Quotable
If you live long enough, you'll see that every victory turns into a defeat.
Simone de Beauvoir
Original Letters Blog US Casualties Contact Donate

 
March 14, 2006

Why Did Bush Destroy Iraq?


by Paul Craig Roberts

March 20 is the third anniversary of the Bush regime's invasion of Iraq. U.S. military casualties to date are approximately 20,000 killed, wounded, maimed, and disabled. Iraqi civilian casualties number in the tens of thousands. Iraq's infrastructure is in ruins. Tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed. Fallujah, a city of 300,000 people, had 36,000 of its 50,000 homes destroyed by the U.S. military. Half of the city's former population are displaced persons living in tents.

Thousands of Iraqis have been detained in prisons, and hundreds have been brutally tortured. America's reputation in the Muslim world is ruined.

The Bush regime expected a short "cakewalk" war to be followed by the imposition of a puppet government and permanent U.S. military bases. Instead, U.S. military forces are confronted with an insurgency that has denied control over Iraq to the U.S. military. Chaos rules, and civil war may be coming on top of the insurgency.

On March 9, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the man who has been totally wrong about Iraq, told Congress that if the unprecedented violence in Iraq breaks out in civil war, the U.S. will rely primarily on Iraq's security forces to put down civil war.

What Iraqi security forces? Iraq does not have a security force. The Shia have a security force, the Sunnis have a security force, and the Kurds have a security force. The sectarian militias control the streets, towns, and cities. If civil war breaks out, the "Iraqi security force" will dissolve into the sectarian militias, leaving the U.S. military in the middle of the melee.

Is this what "support the troops" means?

President Bush's determination to remain in Iraq despite the obvious failure of the attempted occupation puts Bush at odds with the American public and with our troops. Polls show that a majority of Americans believe that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake and that our troops should be withdrawn. An even larger majority of the troops themselves believe they should be withdrawn.

Yet Bush, who is incapable of admitting a mistake, persists in a strategic blunder that is turning into a catastrophe.

Bush's support has fallen to 34 percent.

The war's out-of-pocket cost to date is approximately $300 billion – every dollar borrowed from foreigners. Economic and budgetary experts have calculated that the ultimate cost of Bush's Iraq war in terms of long-term care for veterans, interest on borrowed money, and resources diverted from productive uses will be between $1 trillion and $2 trillion.

What is being achieved for this enormous sacrifice?

No one knows.

Every reason we have been given for the Iraqi invasion has proved to be false. Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. Reports from UN weapons inspectors, top level U.S. intelligence officials, Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill, and leaked top-secret documents from the British cabinet all make it unequivocally clear that the Bush regime first decided to invade Iraq and then looked around for a reason.

Saddam Hussein had no terrorist connection to Osama bin Laden and no role in the 9/11 attack. Hussein was a secular ruler totally at odds with bin Laden's Islamist aims. Every informed person in the world knew this.

When the original justifications for the U.S. invasion collapsed, Bush said that the reason for the invasion was to rid Iraq of a dictator and to put a democracy in its place. Despite all the hoopla about democracy and elections, no Iraqi government has been able to form, and the country is on the brink of civil war. Some Middle East experts believe that violence will spread throughout the region.

The brutal truth is that America's responsibility is extreme. We have destroyed a country and created political chaos for no reason whatsoever.

Seldom in history has a government miscalculated as badly as Bush has in Iraq. More disturbingly, Bush shows no ability to recover from his mistake. All we get from our leader is pigheaded promises of victory that none of our military commanders believe.

Our entire government is lost in confusion. One day Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld tell us that we are having great success in training an Iraqi military and will be able to begin withdrawing our troops in a year. The next day they tell us that we will be fighting the war for decades.

Bush's invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Bush's attempt to cover up his mistake with patriotism will ultimately discredit patriotism.

America has to be big enough to admit a mistake and bring it to an end.


comments on this article?
 
 
Archives

  • Who Remembers 'Guns and Butter'?
    2/18/2009

  • If Only US Law Applied to the US Government
    12/8/2008

  • Washington Arrogance Has Fomented a Muslim Revolution
    12/5/2008

  • The Cost of Hegemony Is Beyond Reach
    12/2/2008

  • This Time, the World Is Not Buying It
    8/16/2008

  • Do You Feel Safe Now? Proud?
    8/7/2008

  • Are You Ready to Face the Facts About Israel?
    7/25/2008

  • One Million Terrorists?
    7/18/2008

  • Only Little War Criminals Get Punished
    7/17/2008

  • We, the Salt of the Earth,
    Take Precedence
    7/2/2008

  • John Yoo, Totalitarian
    6/20/2008

  • The Conservative Movement: From Failure to Threat
    5/19/2008

  • Lies of Aggression
    5/16/2008

  • What the Iraq War Is About
    4/23/2008

  • American Hegemony Is Not Guaranteed
    4/14/2008

  • Petraeus Testimony May Signal Iran Attack
    4/7/2008

  • Protecting America From the President
    2/22/2008

  • Paying Insurgents Not to Fight
    2/19/2008

  • What Do We Stand For?
    2/18/2008

  • Bush Calls on France for Help
    2/12/2008

  • American Liberty Teetering on Edge of Abyss
    1/28/2008

  • The West's Orwellian Monopoly on Morality
    1/24/2008

  • Bringing Death and Destruction to Muslims
    1/17/2008

  • We Are All Prisoners Now
    12/27/2007

  • No Liberty Without
    Habeas Corpus
    12/12/2007

  • Kerry Complicit in
    Bush's Crimes
    9/19/2007

  • Who Are The Fanatics?
    9/6/2007

  • The War Criminal in the Living Room
    8/31/2007

  • More War on the Horizon
    8/24/2007

  • Padilla Jury Opens Pandora's Box
    8/20/2007

  • US Israel Policy Harms Both Countries
    8/16/2007

  • US Hegemony Spawns Russian-Chinese Military Alliance
    8/9/2007

  • A Free Press or a
    Ministry of Truth?
    7/17/2007

  • A Reform to Restore the People's Power
    7/13/2007

  • Beyond Recklessness
    7/3/2007

  • The Neocon Threat to World Peace and American Freedom
    6/12/2007

  • If You Think Bush Is Evil Now, Wait Until He Nukes Iran
    6/6/2007

  • How Can Bush Free Iraq When He Brings Tyranny to America?
    5/26/2007

  • Will the GOP Destroy Itself Before It Destroys America?
    5/23/2007

  • One War Criminal Down, A Fistful to Go
    5/11/2007

  • The War Goes Ever On
    4/24/2007

  • Creating a Market for Security
    4/12/2007

  • Crime Blotter:
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
    3/19/2007

  • The Confession Backfired
    3/17/2007

  • The Last Days of Constitutional Rule?
    3/16/2007

  • How Much More Harm Can Bush Do?
    3/7/2007

  • Americans Have Lost Their Country
    3/1/2007

  • Criminals Control the Executive Branch
    2/10/2007

  • The Crime of the Century
    1/31/2007

  • Bush Is About to Attack Iran
    1/27/2007

  • The Empire Turns Its
    Guns on the Citizenry
    1/24/2007

  • The 'Surge' Is A Red Herring
    1/12/2007

  • Jimmy Carter Speaks Truth to Propaganda
    1/11/2007

  • Distracting Congress from the Real War Plan: Iran
    1/10/2007

  • The Surge: Political Cover or Escalation?
    1/9/2007

  • Is Bush's War Winding Down or Heating Up?
    1/8/2007

  • US Hypocrisy Reaches
    All-Time High
    1/4/2007

  • Keane/Kagan Plan Means More Bloodshed
    1/3/2007

  • The Disrespect for Truth has Brought a New Dark Age
    12/29/2006

  • Is James Baker a Match
    for AIPAC?
    12/14/2006

  • Catastrophe Still Awaits
    12/7/2006

  • Bush Is No Conservative
    12/5/2006

  • Is President Bush Sane?
    12/2/2006

  • Bush's Only Real Victory
    11/22/2006

  • Are Democrats Turning A Blind Eye to Civil Liberty?
    11/14/2006
  • More Archives

    Paul Craig Roberts wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and was assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was associate editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and contributing editor of National Review. He is author or co-author of eight books, including The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press). He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon chair in political economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has contributed to numerous scholarly journals and testified before Congress on 30 occasions. He has been awarded the U.S. Treasury's Meritorious Service Award and the French Legion of Honor. He was a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy under editor Robert Mundell.

    Reproduction of material from any original Antiwar.com pages
    without written permission is strictly prohibited.
    Copyright 2014 Antiwar.com