Wasted lives and billions of dollars. Many people have long thought that the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the following years of war were a total failure and a waste of millions of lives and billions of dollars. Now we know for sure. Not only was this war a failure but it transferred immense power to a country that has long been considered our worst enemy.
On November 18, 2019 the New York Times in conjunction with The Intercept published an article about a large batch of leaked Iranian documents that offer pretty conclusive proof that the Iranians were the only winners of the Iraq war and that they are still the ones who control Iraq.
The Times article says that:
“The leaked cables offer an extraordinary glimpse inside the secretive Iranian regime. They also detail the extent to which Iraq has fallen under Iranian influence since the American invasion in 2003, which transformed Iraq into a gateway for Iranian power, connecting the Islamic Republic’s geography of dominance from the shores of the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea.”
It seems to me that this article is pretty important. For one thing it is positive proof that Bush’s 2003 Iraq war was a total failure. The war was worse than a failure; the article explicitly says that Iran was actually the only country that won the war and that it gained many advantages by doing so.
There is also an internal US army history of the Iraq war that says this very clearly. The army history concludes that “An emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.”
Just think what could have been done with all that money if it had been spent on education or the environment or setting up a new green economy in America.
James Risen, of the intercept puts all this very powerfully: He says that
“Iran had two adversaries on its borders. One was the Taliban Afghan government, and the other was the Iraqi government, Saddam Hussein. Both were enemies of Iran. We deposed both of them. It’s such a huge thing to admit to yourself, as a country, that everything we have done in Iraq for the last 15 years was a mistake. All those lives were lost in vain. All the money we poured in there has gone for a misbegotten, tragic mistake, that we have benefited what we now consider one of our biggest enemies. It’s almost like such a huge thing to admit, that nobody wants to admit it. And I think that’s the real power of these documents.”
The Times article concludes by saying that:
“In a sense, the leaked Iranian cables provide a final accounting of the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq. The notion that the Americans handed control of Iraq to Iran when they invaded now enjoys broad support, even within the United States military. A recent two-volume history of the Iraq War, published by the United States Army, details the campaign’s many missteps and its “staggering cost” in lives and money. Nearly 4,500 American troops were killed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died and American taxpayers spent up to $2 trillion on the war. The study, which totals hundreds of pages and draws on declassified documents, concludes: “An emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.””
Wasted lives and billions of dollars, if not trillions. It seems that Americans are better at that than almost anyone.
More reading on this