If your news sources swing far to the left, whenever the Iraq War comes up, you probably also get a healthy dose of “how terrible” that war was, between thousands of innocent civilians killed, the American families ruined, the money wasted, etc. (Mind you these complaints generally come from people who care about neither innocence, families nor saving money.) If you listen to the Left long enough, the Iraq War was probably responsible for teen pregnancies and extinct species, as well.
Tuesday was the “official” tenth anniversary of the first U.S. bombs falling on Iraq, but personally I can’t get outraged about the Iraq War.
Don’t get me wrong. War stinks. Always has, always will. Lots of innocent people get hurt, lots of young lives get cut short.
And they’re always for some lame reason. The more rational ones are over territory and resources, but humans will go to war over just about anything. Look what the Greeks and Trojans did to each other over a cute girl.
Regardless of what you think about the motivations for the Iraq War, we won.
We did it with comparatively few casualties, too — around 4,500 Americans over about seven years. Estimates of enemy and civilian casualties vary wildly, up to more than a million, but the Associated Press and leaked military memos have total non-American deaths at around 110,000, at least 45,000 of which were enemy combatants on a battlefield.
Any American life lost is a tragedy, and there are 4,500 people who died in Iraq who are sorely missed by their families, but as wars go, the toll was amazingly small. That’s about as many as we lost in the Revolutionary War, when the high-tech weapon of choice was a musket. But it’s not even a tenth of the number killed at the Battle of Gettysburg alone, less than a hundredth of the losses in the entire Civil War. It’s slightly more than one-hundredth of the number of American soldiers killed in World War II, less than a tenth of those killed in Vietnam.
It’s about 50 percent more than the number of deaths in one day, September 11, 2001.
“But it was an illegal war,” the Left still cries.
The Bush Administration sought approval from the United Nations to enforce resolutions against Iraq that had stood unchallenged and unenforced for years. The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution saying Iraq would have no more chances to prove it had destroyed its weapons, which it failed to do. Congress passed the Iraq War Resolution by more than a two-thirds vote, 297-133, authorizing President Bush to use the military “as he determines to be necessary and appropriate.” No international or American legal body with authority has found any evidence that any laws were broken. In short, the Iraq War was as legal as wars get.
“But Bush lied about al-Qaida being in Iraq.”
Again, Congress and the Security Council agreed there was evidence that Iraq was supporting terrorism. Saddam Hussein’s bounty paid to suicide bombers’ families didn’t do much to dissuade that opinion. And the al-Qaida roaches certainly crawled out of the woodwork once U.S. boots hit the ground, didn’t they? It seems unlikely all of them went on a road trip just to get to Baghdad.
“There were no WMDs.”
Even Colin Powell has backed off of the idea that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, so it must have been all a lie, right? You’d never know it from the media, but there’s a good deal of mystery surrounding those WMDs. First, major intelligence agencies and U.N. inspectors at the time were absolutely convinced the WMDs existed. For years, Iraq had been purchasing Russian weapons, including anti-aircraft defenses through Belarus via Syria, Yemen, Turkey and Jordan, as well as weapons from other countries. As recently as three months before the Iraq War and despite international embargoes, Belarus’ President Lukashenko approved a deal for his Ministry of Defense to sell Iraq whatever weapons it wanted.
Then there have been many major unexplained incidents, such as the disappearance of three large Iraqi cargo ships thought to contain WMDs about a month before the war started. U.N. inspectors throughout the war kept stumbling across Iraqi weapons, chemical-manufacturing equipment and even rocket engines that had been tagged by inspectors in places like a junkyard in Rotterdam or metal yards in Jordan. Some of these apparently scrapped weapons were only missing a few key parts, such as warheads, and some of the junkyard caches had unusual radiation readings.
The infamous “yellow cake” story that led to the alleged outing of Valerie Plame, the only undercover agent to be listed in Who’s Who before her cover was supposedly blown, is another favorite tale of the Left. Saddam wasn’t really playing around with nuclear materials, was he? If he wasn’t, it’s a little odd that the U.S. removed 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium from Iraq in 2008. But if you want to check why that’s got nothing to do with WMDs, you can read it on Snopes.
“We just went in to steal the oil.”
So where is it? Gas is over $4 a gallon in my neighborhood. I could use some Iraqi oil.
“Bush just did it to please his daddy.”
I hope Papa Bush is proud of his son, who was a champ compared to the current White House chump.
“We left the country a mess.”
Actually, President Bush left the country a democracy. The Iraqis themselves and President Obama have made it a mess.
So, a legal war we won handily, removing a dictator and a horde of bad guys, turning the country into a democracy that belongs to its own people.
Just remember, it’s all Bush’s fault.