Two Decades After Invasion of Iraq, Debates Continue Over Divisive War
This week marks twenty years since the United States launched its second invasion of Iraq, leading many to reflect on the legacy and ongoing impact of the war.
An article in BBC News determined that U.S. efforts to curb Islamic terrorism in Iraq had the opposite effect, stating, “far from destroying the ideology of Osama Bin Laden and the jihadist extremists, the years of chaos and brutality set off in 2003 turbo-charged murderous jihadist violence.”
David Frum, formerly a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, reflected on the factors that led the Bush Administration to push for the invasion, determining that it “dangerously overestimated the prospects for foreign intervention to build a stable and decent replacement regime.” While highlighting the damage done by the war, Frum does not believe Iraq would have been better off had Saddam Hussein remained in power, stating, “whether Iraq had an alternative future that would have been much better for the country and its people seems very doubtful to me.”
An article in Jacobin criticized political figures that defend the war, dismissing their arguments as irrelevant when stacked against the cost in human life, stating, “whether the country being attacked has a democratic or dictatorial government doesn’t make a war any less wrong or criminal, given that the costs to innocent people are the same. And the many Iraqis who suffered under the bombardment of US ‘shock and awe’ will be surprised to learn about the supposed virtue of US cruise missiles.”
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftIraq War Apologism Is Alive and Well
"A lot of good has come out of that war.”
“Was it a good thing, was it a bad thing? It’s very hard to say.”
“It was worth it.”
Imagine if you heard or read any of this in a major US media outlet about the Russian war on Ukraine. You won’t. Yet these are all real phrases that have been uttered in just the past week — only about a different war, drawing a very different response.
Ever since Russian president Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine started last...
From the CenterIraq war 20 years on: How invasion plunged country into decades of chaos
The invasion of March 2003 was a catastrophe for Iraq and its people.
More proof of that, measured in broken lives, was at a suspected site of a mass grave in the desert outside Sinjar, not far from the border with Syria.
Survivors of one of Iraq's damaged communities, the Yazidis, looked on as the earth in a marble quarry was excavated. On a wire fence around the site were photos of dozens of people, mostly men, who had been killed by jihadists from the Islamic State group. They were...
From the RightThe Iraq War Reconsidered
Twenty years ago, the United States went to war in Iraq to destroy Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. Except for an arsenal of chemical-warfare shells and warheads, those weapons weren’t there—Saddam had shut down his efforts to build a nuclear bomb as well as his biological-warfare program. Instead, he thwarted and resisted international weapons inspectors in order to bluff the world into believing that he still possessed capabilities for mass killing. Saddam’s best-hidden secret was his (at least temporary) weakness.
The United States went to war to build a...
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