Well, I think Pat Buchanan certainly summed up the Iraq War pretty thoroughly on the 10th anniversary of its start:
So, how now does the ledger read, 10 years on? What is history’s present verdict on what history has come to call Bush’s war?THERE'S NOT really anything to add to this, is there? Except that a lot of us -- me included -- should have learned our lesson after Vietnam. But no . . . we f***ed up. We trusted our government.
Of the three goals of the war, none was achieved. No weapon of mass destruction was found. While Saddam and his sons paid for their sins, they had had nothing at all to do with 9/11. Nothing. That had all been mendacious propaganda.
Where there had been no al-Qaida in Iraq while Saddam ruled, al-Qaida is crawling all over Iraq now. Where Iraq had been an Arab Sunni bulwark confronting Iran in 2003, a decade later, Iraq is tilting away from the Sunni camp toward the Shia crescent of Iran and Hezbollah.
What was the cost in blood and treasure of our Mesopotamian misadventure? Four thousand five hundred U.S. dead, 35,000 wounded and this summary of war costs from Friday’s Wall Street Journal:
“The decade-long [Iraq] effort cost $1.7 trillion, according to a study … by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Fighting over the past 10 years has killed 134,000 Iraqi civilians … . Meanwhile, the nearly $500 billion in unpaid benefits to U.S. veterans of the Iraq war could balloon to $6 trillion” over the next 40 years.
Iraq made a major contribution to the bankrupting of America.
As for those 134,000 Iraqi civilian dead, that translates into 500,000 Iraqi widows and orphans. What must they think of us?
According to the latest Gallup poll, by 2-to-1, Iraqis believe they are more secure — now that the Americans are gone from their country.
Left behind, however, is our once-sterling reputation. Never before has America been held in lower esteem by the Arab peoples or the Islamic world. As for the reputation of the U.S. military, how many years will it be before our armed forces are no longer automatically associated with such terms as Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, renditions and waterboarding?
As for the Chaldean and Assyrian Christian communities of Iraq who looked to America, they have been ravaged and abandoned, with many having fled their ancient homes forever.
We are not known as a reflective people. But a question has to weigh upon us. If Saddam had no WMD, had no role in 9/11, did not attack us, did not threaten us, and did not want war with us, was our unprovoked attack on that country a truly just and moral war?
The degree of the catastrophe we set in motion a decade ago wasn't exactly the sort of "shock and awe" we were counting on, now, was it? May God forgive us, because He's the only one who probably has it in Him.