“The true history of my administration will be written 50 years from now, and you and I will not be around to see it.” — George W. Bush
MARCH 19: On this day in 2003, a U.S. led coalition invaded Iraq. President Bush said the goal of Operation Iraqi Freedom was to “disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” The Iraqi invasion was strongly supported by Vice President Cheney. As Defense Secretary during the 1991 Gulf War, he opposed an invasion of Iraq, saying it wasn’t worth the casualties or “getting bogged down.” …A Brown University study in 2011 said it may also cost $1 trillion more (through 2050) to care for veterans of the 105-month war.
British and U.S. intelligence agencies “were informed by top sources months before the invasion that Iraq had no active WMD programme, and that the information was not passed to subsequent inquiries,” according to the Guardian.
MOTHER JONES: According to the first-ever comprehensive count of the true toll of the combined wars, the estimate the [Bush Administration] used to sell the invasion in 2003 was about 100 times too low. (i.e. $50-60 billion):
So what did that $6 trillion get us, exactly? Since we borrowed to pay for much of the war, we’re facing nearing $4 trillion in cumulative interest between now and 2053, according to the 30 researchers who worked on the Costs of War report for Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.
To date, according to the report, medical and disability claims of U.S. war veterans of Iraq have reached $84 billion; ongoing care for wounded Iraq war vets and their families is expected to require nearly $500 billion more over the next several decades. Homeland Security got $245 billion in additional funding thanks to increased threats of terror—real, imagined, and staged—over the last ten years. On-the-ground operations alone ended up being 16 times more expensive than the Bush cabinet’s original estimate for the entire enterprise.
Apparently the Office of Management and Budget was really, really bad at math for a while there in 2003.
PAUL KRUGMAN wonders why there seems to be so little coverage of the 10-year anniversary:
Well, it’s not hard to think of a reason: a lot of people behaved badly in the runup to that war, and many though not all people in the news media behaved especially badly.
It’s hard now to recall the atmosphere of the time, but there was both an overpowering force of conventional wisdom — all the Very Serious People were for war, don’t you know, and if you were against you were by definition flaky — and a strong current of fear. To come out against the war, let alone to suggest that the Bush administration was deliberately misleading the nation into war, looked all too likely to be a career-ending stance. And there were all too few profiles in courage.
The war, then, was a big test — a test of your ability to cut through a fog of propaganda, but also a test of your moral and to some extent personal courage. And a lot of people in the media failed.
53% of Americans believe the United States “made a mistake sending troops to fight in Iraq” while 42% say it was not a mistake. — a new Gallup poll
FACT: 100% of that 42% also believe this woman should lead the country
Cheney: On the security front, I think there’s a general consensus that we’ve made major progress, that the surge has worked. That’s been a major success.
Martha Raddatz: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.
Martha Raddatz: So? You don’t care what the American people think?
TEN YEARS LATER: “I did what I did. It’s all on the public record, and I feel very good about it. If I had to do it over again, I’d do it in a minute.” — Cheney in a new documentary which aired last Friday.
10 COMPANIES PROFITING THE MOST FROM WAR: The 10 biggest arms producers accounted for more than half of the 2010 sales. The composition of those sales reflects the state of modern warfare, as battles are now often fought with remote surveillance and air strikes instead of ground combat.
- #10 United Technologies
- #9 L-3 Communications
- #8 Finmeccanica
- #7 EADS
- #6 Raytheon (see additional information)
- #5 General Dynamics (see additional information)
- #4 Northrop Grumman (see additional information)
- #3 Boeing (see additional information)
- #2 BAE Systems
- #1 Lockheed Martin (see additional information)
Click here for a closer look at each company.
“In this charmed circle of American capitalism, Lockheed Martin-, Boeing-, and Raytheon-manufactured munitions destroy Iraq; George Schultz’s Bechtel Corporation and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton rebuild Iraq; and Iraq oil pays for it all.” — Who Benefits from Global Violence and War: Uncovering a Destructive System
Unfortunately military contractors and the politicians they handle walked away from the Iraq-Oil Party with greatly increased wealth and power, and left generations of American taxpayers to foot the bill.
“Maybe the American people can be brainwashed into forgetting why we supposedly went to war. Near as I can tell, our national memory span is down to about two weeks, and the media have been spectacularly unskeptical on this issue. But the rest of the world is not going to forget that WMDs were our primary reason for an unprovoked, pre-emptive war.” — the late Molly Ivins’ from April 29, 2003, barely a month after Shock ‘n Awe