Has the Iraq war been worth fighting?

This needs no introduction. Have those who have died, lost their lives helping to create a safer Iraq and a safer world over the past five years? Or have their lives, and the money that’s been spent, been wasted on the wrong cause? President Bush sees a safer world, a strategic victory, and the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama Bin Laden. Do you?

Update from Iain

Joining us on the programme today:

Ros, Andrew Gilligan, Will Geddes and Ahmed Al-Rikabi

Will Geddes, Security expert Managing Director of the ICP Group. ICP is on US State Dept list of security companies doing business in Iraq.

Andrew Gilligan, journalist best known for his 2003 report about a British government briefing paper on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction (the September Dossier) while working for BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme as its defence and diplomatic correspondent.

Ros and Andrew Gilligan

Ahmed Al-Rikabi, Director of Radio Dijla, the first independent and the most listened to talk radio station in Iraq.

Sawsan al-Dawodi, a Sunni Iraqi in Egypt. Her story is here.

Mohammed, a member off Saddam Hussein’s tribe who has fled to Sweden. His story is here.

103 Responses to “Has the Iraq war been worth fighting?”

  1. 1 Brett
    March 20, 2008 at 13:17

    $12,000,000,000.00US spent PER MONTH for this War… Our cities are full of homeless citizens, our schools are underfunded and inadequate, every day millions of Americans go to bed hungry, there are domestic problems affecting the US at every turn. Now you tell me, could this money have been better spent?

    5.1666 Billion per month to be spent through the US Dept. of Education in 2008. Why does our Iraq (and notice, ONLY IRAQ, not the rest of our military ventures) budget nearly double that of the US department of education budget?

    We need to be taking care of our own problems and our own citizens first. So far, Bush has not been doing that.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  2. 2 Julie P
    March 20, 2008 at 13:20

    George Bush is going to spin the war in Iraq as best he can. It is apparent that he only real concern is to safeguard his legacy. This war is an abyss and he is the worst president in American history. This is truly a lose lose situation for everyone involved.

  3. March 20, 2008 at 13:24

    Forty years ago or so the Vietnam War was a major preoccupation for the media. But its resonance didn’t affect much of the world as it was carried out in a “classical” way. There were the American army and the communist fighters that had to stand against each other. As for the world powers, they were dealing with it diplomatically. The only trouble the USA had were the demonstrations at home against it. But the country was safe as there were no threats of terrorist attacks. There were only clashes between the police and the demonstrators at home and the raging war in Vietnam which cost the lives of 50,000 American soldiers and much more of physically and mentally handicapped veterans.

    Today, Iraq War has become global. It isn’t just the business of the USA and its Iraqi opponents. There are fighters of different nationalities. Maybe their number in Iraq is dwindling because of their deaths and captures. But there are still Al Qaeda fighters and other Jihadists ready to respond to the US presence in Iraq anywhere in the world by threatening its interests and those of its allies. Security setup has never been so intense to guarantee the safety of key personalities, as the great number of casualties are ordinary people who happen to be in areas with minimum security apparatus.

    The Iraq war has just put Iraq decades back in terms of infrastructure and human resources. Many installations were destroyed. The country can’t fully benefit from its oil revenues as production is low compared to the country’s giant reserves. Young Iraqis have poor educations while its well-educated people have fled the country.

    This war can be worthwhile just for the American Administration which must have long term strategy in the region and Saddam was an obstacle to its implantation. His removal was a part of its political equation. But for the Iraqis, the War was an opportunity to have revenge on each other after the divide-and-rule policies of Saddam. The Sunnis and Shiites had the opportunity to be at each other’s throats inflicting heavy casualties on each other.

    In the past five years, the world saw other international changes. There are currently the souring relations between the US and Russia. There is Iran’s nuclear programme. There were changes of leaders in important countries like Australia, France, Germany, UK and soon Russia. Currently there is the situation in Tibet which must have diverted the attention of the world from what’s going on in Iraq. Prior to this, violence has become almost no news for many as it has become commonplace.

    On the whole, the current situation in Iraq will shape the history of this country. It will affect the current and the next generations who will keep the memory of lost loved ones due to terrorist attacks and “mistaken” attacks by the US army.

    The Iraqis spent five years killing and mistrusting one another because of sectarianism. Others have become refugees in their own country or in bordering ones. It takes one man to have the lead to influence how a whole community should think and react. But in the current conditions of Iraq, thinking independently of the rest of other factions means the perpetuation of internal struggle that erupts in violence. Occupation is now a fact. Violence is deadly fact. Iraqis of all sections should find a common ground to end violence through give-and take compromises. If they keep wrangling just about self-interests, Iraq will find it difficult to be stable again. The preoccupations of the Iraqis will be just how to live another day, disregarding the national potentials they should exploit for a better tomorrow.

  4. 4 Michael, Vancouver washington
    March 20, 2008 at 13:28

    There’s an important distinction to keep in mind, that the actual Iraq war ended and we are now fighting civil insurrection and terrorists within Iraq.

    There’s one important thing about this that largely gets ignored and that is that it is ‘over there’ instead of here in the U.S. or Europe. It is true that the Iraq War became a breeding ground for Middle-East terrorists and it is tragic that they are causing senseless destruction and suffering, but it is ‘over there’ and not ‘Over here’.
    I apologize for the way that this sounds, it comes from the very real fear of terrorism that they want to propagate, but from the West’s point of view, there have been almost no successful acts of terrorism here. Instead of suicide bombing cities in the West, they are committing suicide fighting Marines. That is what the blood of American and allied soldiers has bought.

  5. 5 Katharina in Ghent
    March 20, 2008 at 13:32


    I remember a cartoon in the “International Herald Tribune”, a few months after George Bush became president and a similar time before 9/11 and in this cartoon he was at the optometrist, reading letters from the board. The letters said “E – ECO – ECONO – ECONOMY” and Bush read “S – SAD – SADDAM”. There were two things I never believed: the weapons of mass destruction and when Donald Rumsfeld, a few weeks into the Iraq war, declared that he has a clear plan of what will happen once victory has been declared. Unfortunately, I was right on both accounts. IMHO, what the american troops need to do now is stay and finish the job. If they pull out early, then that’s just adding catastrophical insult to injury.

    And to comment on what Brett wrote: sure, your schools are bad and there are millions of hungry and/or homeless Americans (and now with the credit crunch even more!), but to think that without the war even one cent of the money would have gone into social programs, under a Republican president… I have my doubts.

  6. 6 John in Salem
    March 20, 2008 at 13:38

    Every life and every dollar lost in Iraq in the last five years has been needlessly wasted and the world is far more dangerous because of what Bush has done.
    Words cannot adequately express my contempt for him and the people around him who launched this war in the name of their “New American Century”.

  7. March 20, 2008 at 13:40

    I think the WAR was not worth fighting. What took the US to IRAQ were the WMDs. They wee not found in Iraq and thus the US should have withdrawn immediately. Otherwise, many problems have risen from this war for both the Iraqis and the whole world.

  8. 8 Brett
    March 20, 2008 at 13:43

    @ Katharina

    “And to comment on what Brett wrote: sure, your schools are bad and there are millions of hungry and/or homeless Americans (and now with the credit crunch even more!), but to think that without the war even one cent of the money would have gone into social programs, under a Republican president… I have my doubts.”

    I completely agree with you. But had that money not been spent or if that money were not being spent, there sure is a greater chance that it would be spent elsewhere, or at least not be spent at all which would help slow the Debt of the US. Either way it would help our people had that money not gone to killing others.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  9. 9 Ros Atkins
    March 20, 2008 at 13:44

    The war in Iraq has been costly.

    There is more violence, anger and frustration in the world. I feel that even understanding and respecting each other has diminished and that people are now more suspecting of each other.

    I am disappointed and disgusted in this war. I wish my country would act better.

    Heather Mann
    Houston, TX 77030

  10. 10 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 13:45

    @ Katharina:

    You’re probably right about republicans not putting money into schools and social programs, but the way the democrats do it, it only enables people to become dependent upon the state and become lazy. And basically in California, there was a period where they were about to give up on education, and actually teach ebonics in school, making whomever learns that, permanently a member of an underclass, unable to get any kind of employment other than at fast food restaurants. I asked someone I knew who was a proponent of this, who is a lawyer, if she would hire someone who communicated in ebonics, and she said no.

    So both the dems and repubs are horrible on education and social programs. Just for different reasons.

  11. 11 eric aka eks321
    March 20, 2008 at 13:50

    perspective: the iraq war never would have been fought if the anti-war crowd had not held their huge rallies before the war. the us government offered saddam the choice of leaving iraq or being taken out with force. the saudi regime offered to let him take asylum in saudi arabia, where he could live in peace and in wealth. saddam refused this option because the anti-war crowd held huge anti-war rallies around the world. when saddam saw the scope and depth of this anti-war support he miscalculated what the us government would do in the face of these anti-war rallies. saddam gambled that the us government would not follow through on their ultimatum. on the other hand, the us government had to follow through because the entire reason for the war was because saddam had ignored 17 rounds of un resolutions. saddam refused to allow full and unfettered access to his facilities so that the world could determine with 100% certainty that his weapons programs had been completely eliminated. the un position was set in order to end the 1991 gulf war. since saddam had proven that he was a threat to the area with his invasion of kuwait and his use of weapons of mass destruction against iran and his own people, his continued refusal to honor repeated un resolutions put the us government in a position of having to stand behind their ultimatum. if the us government did not follow through, its credibility would have been damaged and rogue regimes and terrorist groups around the world would miscalculate and assume they could act with impunity against the us. the bottom line is if the world would have stood firm behind the us government ultimatum, of leave or war, saddam would have gone to saudi arabia and the war would never have taken place

  12. 12 Paul Rousseau
    March 20, 2008 at 13:52

    If more states would have followed Canada’s lead in 2003, that of not going into Iraq, there may not have been a “coalition of the willing,” and USA hubris would have been reduced, saving the world of needless death, destruction and a waste of a whole lot of money.


  13. 13 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 14:05

    @ Paul

    However the Iraq war did distract the world from Canadians clubbing baby seals to death. There are no innocent angel nations.

  14. March 20, 2008 at 14:06

    When I came to the states in Jan 2001 to visit with a new friend and who wanted me to emigrate I saw only good reasons to do so. She was living the beach life and it was laid back and alluring. It took me nine months to go through the process and to get a visa. I was to finally leave England of November the fourth. I was paying my last visit to my beloved London on 9/11. My ex was with me and took a photo of me sat between Roosevelt and Churchill lifesize on a bench in the West End. A guy with a cell phone in hand emerging from a taxi assumed us American and alerted us to the news. it was 2 pm. We were in a restaurant with a lot of others when the second plane struck. I spent the next week camped out on my ex’s living room floor watching CNN constantly. I had sold down to three suitcases. I spent the night on a Gatwick Airport couch with about 100 others rather than risk getting here late for an early flight. It was a surly response at Atlanta POE. In Pensacola beach life went on but it was a shock when a young lady took her convertible and shot her brains out on the sandy road. Her ex was remarried that day. But this was paradise? Soon after my arrival the Blue Angels like our Red Arrows who are based in Pensacola had their beach show. This was November. It was gorgeous. 100,000 flag waving patriots wounded and teary and revengeful. There was a lot of drinking and a lot of swooning and sighing as jets dove and soared. There were screams of delight. I too enjoyed the show but felt a little remote and sinful for wondering what it might be like for people living in dust bowl communities already affected by sanctions to have enemy jets doing flyovers and posturing for war. I hear and read disgusting words and even from women who I have always been told are different. My mother insisted to me in our talks that women could never be quick to kill as they undergo too much to produce. She was wrong. Some women fly jets that ‘take out’ villagers walking the streets. Coulter on Hannity talk radio states that ‘We should bomb Iran until they cannot even build a transistor radio’. Talk radio is my obsession. I listen to it daily. It is controlled hate speech. Only the right sides Republican attitude is tolerated. ‘Get off the air you big dope’ is the message to anyone with a differing view. To my knowledge we don’t have such stations on air in Britain. It is entirely biased for all Bush stands for. It is completely in denial of any misdeeds of America. Denial of ‘climate change’ ‘Haditha’ ‘waterboarding being torture’ ‘Iraq being a mistake’. I listen because I cannot believe what I hear. I write constantly about it for American Chronicle and for Times Union. If you google ‘patrick lockyer’ you will see that Boortz had me on his Website to be attacked for disagreeing with him I got 7000 hits in one morning. I have video’s also about Hannity and hate speech. This so called war is a complete mistake. To win you have to subdue the hate that makes people want to strap on bombs. Too many hawks here in America think they are mighty enough to bomb and nuke the opposition and that it worked with Japan and so the Muslim threat can be dealt with the same. There is no common thought from the masses that withdrawal and calmness and lack of biased policy will lessen the threat. They will not comprehend that a meek and gentle diplomatic approach will be better. You are talking to the ancestors of the James Bros and Billy the Kid and Bonnie and Clyde. No these people are brought up on violence and ‘gladiators’ and live life vicariously getting fat watching others do the sports and getting the beer and chicken is the extent of the exercise. I have seen an improvement in blogs and papers and attitudes have repaired. It was treasonable to even suggest that Soldiers in Iraq could err I was a soldier in Germany and I know that lads would do stuff they would not at home. They must get out of Iraq. Even then it will take a time to mend. These people are feudal. We might see more then of whether they liked the American occupation or not. I can’t imagine any man feeling good about foreign presence and tanks rolling through and loving it. Brits would be the VERY worst insurgents in history. Get real and get out.

  15. 15 kwmae
    March 20, 2008 at 14:10

    I take this opportunity to comment on the topic before us.Interestingly and objectively for us to find out if the war has been worth fighting we must deal with the issue above partisan,religious,race and political bases.
    I have been following the ins and out of all what has happened for a while now in Iraq.I think from my point of view the war has been a failure.One will ask,why?this is because Bush and Blair went into this war with the solve objectives of toppling Saddam Hussein because he was a dictator and that the people of Iraq are suffering,secondly they said their motive was to shed less blood as definitely toppling any president will involve blood shed,others have also said is because of the Oil deposit so they took advantage of the situations.
    But lets even forget about the last point of Oil interest and deal with the first two,I know and we all know,believe and understand that NO MATTER HOW WICKED A LEADER IS;UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD ANOTHER LEADER/S MOVE INTO REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE.The fact that it is acclaimed that Saddam was a terrorist under circumstances did Bush and Blair have the power and ego to enter into Iraq to topple him from office,the issue should have been handed over and handled by the UN,by US and Britain again allowing the UN to have a free mind and hand to mediate in the entire process of bring peace,joy and comfort and well as freedom to the people of Iraq.So on this point the war is a failure.
    Secondly they said we are toppling Saddam and his evil men so you (people of Iraq)can be free shedding less blood because it was impossible as also Saddam had his loyalist who will also resist.Now what happened,they ended up killing thousands of innocent people,(military men from US & Britain,as well as Iraq civilians).The war has brought about more hardship to the people of Iraq because looking around now the level of expectation of economic break through has failed as in flows has been very appauling and also there is a continuous suicide attacks killing dozens of people each passing day.Putting all this together which were not going on at all or very minimally at the time of Saddam’s administration,one has every right to say THE WAR IN IRAQ HAS NOT BEEN A WORTHY ONE.


  16. 16 lydia nayo
    March 20, 2008 at 14:15

    If the world is safer, it is not as a result of prosecuting the war in Iraq. Certainly weapons of mass destruction have not diminished as a result of the war in Iraq

  17. 17 lydia nayo
    March 20, 2008 at 14:20

    Sorry, I pushed a wrong button… it is not 2 in the afternoon where I am and the fingers aren’t fully awake yet.

    I meant to conclude that the lives lost or disrupted, both among the troops stationed in Iraq and among the Iraqi people, have not been in service to much more than political ego and profiteering among Bush and Blair’s cronies. And the American people certainly feel no safer or more secure, either at home, or in the international community as a result of the war in Iraq. I can’t see any real, long term value to the war, in either the region or in the world at large.

    But I tend to believe that wars are rarely the solution to most problems, nor are wars instigated for any viable reasons. If war was the answer, the question wouldn’t come up so damned often, would it?

  18. 18 Kelly in Lebanon, OR
    March 20, 2008 at 14:40

    The Iraq war has not only put us in more danger by increasing radical hatred of the US, but the uncontrolled spending in Iraq will prevent us from being able to spend those dollars on education, social security, health care, etc, for a long, long time.

    By fighting what many see as a personal war in Iraq instead or purely persuing terrorists, Bush has not only crippled us strategically, but economically as well.

  19. 19 Jerry Cordaro, Cleveland OH
    March 20, 2008 at 14:40

    This foolish, unnecessary war has cost hundreds of billions of dollars, tens of thousands of lives, and has not accomplished any of its rapidly shifting rationales. There were no WMDs, al Qaida was not in Iraq before the invasion, and the “democracy” we have installed isn’t showing anything to the other nations in the Middle East but our own incompetence. Thank God Bush is out of office in nine months!

  20. 20 Peter Gizzi
    March 20, 2008 at 14:40

    Tony Blair totally ignored British Public Opinion concerning the war in Iraq. He “whitewashed” himself out of public enquies. Granted Saddam Hussein has gone. Replaced with what? Total chaos and a very large bill in life and money.Sadly this is where we are now. Great resentment towards The UK and The USA. Is this a safer world? I do not think so. My heart goes out to all those who have lost their lives including the many Iraqis. Did they want this war?

  21. March 20, 2008 at 14:53

    Yes!!! This war was worth fighting!!! Sadaam was a really horrible dictator. He attacked five different countries. Iran, Isreal, Saudi Arabia, Kuiwait, and the United States not to mention other coalition nations.

    He genocided enemies, murdered his own military officers just to keep the others in his Army and Air Force under constant fear. His sons were truly cruel and the Iraqi people had a much darker future in store after the death of the father.

    The Americans tried very hard to allow Sadaam to stay in power as a counter balance against Iran for the good of the region. He also shot at American aircraft some 500 times while the Americans were trying to enforce the no fly zones and keep the idiot ruler from genociding the Kurds and Shia. There were very deffinate U.N Resolutions that Sadaam agreed to in order to keep his regime from being obliterated after the enemy troops were routed out of Kuiwait. Plus he tried to assasinate a sitting President of the United States.

    Sadaam kept violating the U.N. resolutions for some 12 years of patients. exhibited by the United States. At what point would this sort of constant riding the fence and irritating the United States. Plus as General Thomas Franks consouled with neighboring countries…..Sadaam always had a message waiting for Gen. Franks. Hope you enjoy your visit. With all due respect please do not invade Iraq. I have weapons of mass destruction and will have to use them on Americans if they come here or words to that effect.

    There was no call from the Iraqi Dictator to Bush expressing a regret and a clear separation away from the Muslim who attacked us on 9/11.

    Bush had no choice. Under the circumstances of putting troops in the Middle East he could not afford to leave that snake in the grass free to do damage to Americans. He was a threat. Like Germany they did not fly the planes and drop the bombs on Pearl Harbor, but they were a beligerant and invader enemy nation.

    Bush pretty much had to stand alone and hang alone for 8 years. He is not our greatest President I will grant you, but with history he will perhaps rank out at # 3 behind Washington, and Lincoln.

    Sadaam said before he was hanged, he underestimated George W Bush. He did not back off at Sadaam’s blugging as did Clinton. It cost him his life, and then Bush set to work trying to craft a decent opportunity for the Iraqi people and all their divisional tribes to rule themselves in a different manner than having to live under ruthless murderer.

    Bush knows he is spending our wealth and our beautiful and wonderful young people in order to do what is right. It never was about oil, it never was about establishing a colony. We always intended to leave Iraq a free country to enter the modern world for the benefit of the Iraqi people. All Americans want to leave as soon as is possible.

    Bush did all this with a minimum loss of life. Perhaps that is not how it should be done, but he tried to do it as best he could. Nobody else had the courage to try to do something that really did need to be done.

    Read “Sadaam’s Secrets” by Georges Sadar

  22. 22 Alison, Idaho
    March 20, 2008 at 15:09

    Looking back after five years at the money spent and lives lost, the war does not seem worth it. The results just don’t seem to justify the costs.

    However, we have to remember that the US military is a volunteer organization. We don’t currently have a draft in this country, and the men and women fighting in the Middle East are there because they believe in fighting for freedom. I feel lucky that there are so many people willing to fight for my rights and the rights of those around the world. The Iraqi people should be so lucky, but if they don’t want the help, it does seem the effort would be better spent elsewhere.

  23. 23 Ros Atkins
    March 20, 2008 at 15:12

    Hi Ros,
    Nice to know you are back. Hi to everyone too.
    Tell Mr Bush the war in Iraq has not made the world safer-it may have made is father safer cos as it is claimed, Saddam Hussein wanted to assasinate his dad.
    Secondly, The war in Iraq hasn’t won any so-called strategic victory in the war on terror; what you have now in the middle east is an emboldened Iran that wants to spread its shite and sharia notion of civilization everywhere; more polarization of shite and sunnis in the arab world; and more hatred, islamofacism and resentment of America around the world.
    Thirdly, let me assure him that Osama bin laden will remain far more popular than him in the arab world forever- this is because of the damage his inavsion has caused. He Bush should stop deluding himself about some so called uprising against Bin laden in the arab world. Afterall, those sheltering bin laden are also in the arab world.

    Let me give Mr Bush some free advice; the most honourable thing to do as a leader when you make a mistake is to first and foremost accept it, secondly, you take steps to remedy it if possible. His headstrong attitude will not help him or anybody- a mistake is a mistake! Only cowards fear to admit their mistakes when they have to.

    Accra, Ghana.

  24. 24 Anthony
    March 20, 2008 at 15:15

    The funny thing is most Americans can’t tell you Americas legal reason for invading Iraq. WMDs. And where are these, no where! So if we were there to find WMDs, and killed Saddam, then is that a “Mission Accomplished”? I think not. In five years we haven’t been able to help Iraq, but then again almost 7 years later and we haven’t gotten Bin Laden either.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    PS – Steve, just because a couple democrats wanted Ebonics in school, doesn’t mean they all did. A very VERY slim few wanted that.

  25. 25 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 15:24

    I wonder what europeans think about bin ladin threatening them over the Mohammed cartoons…

    Anthony: Sure, a vocal minority, but it was a big thing, when in the 1990s, the Oakland Board recognized ebonics as a separate language. Minority yes, but they tend to be in positions of power that can permanently disable people as a feel good measure.

  26. 26 John LaGrua/New York
    March 20, 2008 at 16:00

    The war was a travesty,immoral and illegal ,a crime by any international standard. Bush .Cheney ,Rumsfeld ,Rice Powell should tried for crimes against humanity using the same criteria as at Nurenberg and punished accordingly..The terrible human misery makes the financial cost pale by comparison. .That the American people did not remove Bush is an indictment of their complicity for which no one is willing to accept.responsibility.;The Germans were held responsible for Nazi atrocities ,why should Bush etc be immune from legal accountability.As an American ,I am horrified that we have been so corrupted by power and wealth that as a nation we delude ourselves of our righteousness and allow the political leadership to vilolate our most cherished principles.and destroy our honor and reputation..

  27. March 20, 2008 at 16:09

    Has the world become safer?

    The war on terrorism seems to have benefited just security companies. This means the world is no longer as safe as it used to be without extra security measures . CCTV cameras are commonplace in many places in the world. UK has the record number per capita, exceeding 4,300,000- which means a camera for every 15 citizens.

    In Morocco, there are around 40,000 private security guards recruited following terrorist incidents in Casablanca and the terrorist threats in other major cities, not to mention the rise in crimes.. CCTV cameras are getting installed in major areas. The war on terrorism has made security spending go even higher even in countries where it was normal to walk past key buildings without being spotted by cameras or checked by a guard. The world doesn’t seem safer but forced to keep safe by whatever means. Iraqis have the misfortune of having terrorism concretised through frequent violence. The rest of the world; especially, in countries closely allied to the West, there is the constant scare and alert of might happen.

    The world is no longer safe. it is struggling to get safe. It is growing dangerous as the fear of might happen is another form of being psychologically terrorised.

  28. 28 Justin from Iowa
    March 20, 2008 at 16:09

    Perhaps you should roll the two Iraq topics for the day into one topic, Ros, as I think that comments made in either one will be pertinent to the other, and responses from people living in iraq are directly pertinent to this discussion.

  29. 29 John in Salem
    March 20, 2008 at 16:11

    You have to hand it to Bush for one thing – his spin machine is the best the world has ever known. They have everyone – the public, the analysts, the politicians, even the generals in the field – believing that this war was a mistake, the result of bad intelligence, and that the occupation that will now last for decades is the result of errors made in the opening weeks of the invasion.
    They have accomplished what was previously impossible – the military occupation of an entire country in the heart of the Islamic Middle East – and no one can see the forest for the trees.

  30. 30 gary
    March 20, 2008 at 16:14

    Hello All,
    The depth of evil of Saddam Hussein has been much used to justify invasion of Iraq. In truth, he had his moments. He would have nuked, gassed, and infected the State of Israel in New York minute. But; the desire to do these things was not unique to Saddam, nor did it die with him. I think you will find the people who hung him would happily complete this task if given the chance. Much also has been made of Saddam’s WMDs and support of world-wide terrorism. No honest, credible evidence for the existence of either has ever turned up. In fact, notable absence of WMDs prompted a re-labeling of the conflict solely as a war on terror. Certainly, Saddam murdered many Shiites and a significant number of Kurds. His Sunni countrymen continue to murder Shia to this day. They reciprocate, I’ve noticed. This unleashing of sectarian murder is certainly a cost to Iraq that should never have been paid.

    A bunch of New Yorkers were murdered by Al qeada operatives These unfriendly folks seem mostly to have been and maybe are still headquartered in the wilds of Afghanistan (and almost certainly economically linked to Riyadh as well). The Iraq invasion and the year of administrative dithering that followed provided a textbook training ground for Al qeada operatives. They made good use of it. The military techniques honed in Iraq are now being effectively applied to the conflicts in Afghanistan, and more alarmingly in Pakistan (Remember: They have nukes.) These results militate (No pun intended.) for the point made by critics that far from being won, the war on terror results to date probably favor the other side.

    So, now where are we? Before answering this I must state that I hold citizen soldiers and full time military folks, as I do those other public servants in police and fire-fighting services, in the very highest regard. When asked; they serve. They hold the honor of their country and the lives of their countrymen in higher regard than their own. This sacrifice to country and sense of duty even the most ardent anti-war critic must acknowledge.

    But, I am that ardent anti-war critic. Not just this war; but every war. Even casual consideration of the history of mankind must bring home the truth. All wars are pregnant to bursting with the seeds of new wars. It seems again the obvious must be stated: When loved ones are killed, it pisses-off their relatives. Shakespeare stated the truth in Henry V. The deeds and scars of war far outlive the soldiers, and even more so anyone’s sense of guilt for having participated. To those who pay the price; all soldierly service is honorable. All hurts are remembered, accurately or not, as crimes for which the enemy must eventually pay. My thoughts? No. This game was not worth the candle. The lives lost should have been lived ’til their ends, even old Saddam’s. He may have been evil; but at the now a half million dead, his death was purchased at far too great a cost. His evil needed elimination; but the cost of even his own soul was far too great.

    Come on folks! Humankind has some real problems to solve. The US has spent a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Next time a loved one is dying of cancer, ask yourself this question: Would a trillion dollars spent on research have helped them live? Maybe, maybe not; but at final tally it won’t nearly cover the costs of killing old Saddam.

  31. 31 zainab
    March 20, 2008 at 16:35

    how are you troop? well the war was really worth fighting, only if it was ended with Saddam’s end. but it seems that it aims to end the iraqi people.
    i’ll not defend Saddam cuz i hate him more than anything, all what you’ve said about him is true and too well-known to us and we know more and more. but it is rather strange, cuz all what he did, is just the same as what Bush is doing to us, right now .
    there are battles with Iran, Turkey, syria…etc. there are genocides, innocent people are dying everyday if not every hour for no reason. You said “Saddam kept violating the U.N resolutions …” well Bush is of course doing the same most of the time.
    and i just want to ask you one question:is there any difference between before and after Saddam’s remove? for us (Iraqis) there is no difference but more worst. what about you in America??
    yours truely

  32. 32 Will Rhodes
    March 20, 2008 at 16:44

    steve March 20, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    I wonder what europeans think about bin ladin threatening them over the Mohammed cartoons…

    Probably laugh about it, Steve.

    He is a boogie man used to scare the American public. If we did a real statistical analysis of his power it would show he has very little. He can say that this or that person is to be killed, and that makes him treat with contempt in Europe – let him come and have the guts to do it himself. Those that follow him and his ideas are falling into a trap – and one that the right want them to. If you want to get rid of the Muslim population or anyone who is seen as a threat, relate it back to OBL and there is the only proof you need.

    To the OP, no it hasn’t and will be remembered for a very long time as a scourge on American society. There is now much less trust in the US and her actions, and that reflects on the US citizen as well as the US administration.

    As has been said – the US can fight a war costing billions and leave those in New Orleans destitute, children and chronically ill without healthcare – and the working man without a home. That is what the world sees, not the lads and lasses on the front-line.

  33. 33 ki
    March 20, 2008 at 16:51

    The war has been a waste of time, money and life. it has distracted the world from Zimbabwe, Sudan, Tibet and a host of other conflicts. Meanwhile, poverty kills thousands each day, there is no money to end child poverty or malnutrition, but there are billions, perhaps trillians for never ending conflict. Give me a break. When will governments and citizens, learn that violence leads to more of the same?


  34. 34 George USA
    March 20, 2008 at 16:51

    There are two separate entities in the war in Iraq-

    1. This Administration and those who put them in power with their agendas.

    2. The troops who went to do the mission they were given by the civilian authority.

    The former is as bad and much worse than what has been written here, to the point that nothing worthwhile can or will come from that group, now or ever. So no modification of anything they do will take place by words.

    The later have done their duty to the nation, pursued the mission they were given with valor and personal sacrifice, done their duty and more. They are our best, given a mission by our worst. The troops are to be commended.

    So far:

    The winners in Iraq are the oil companies and oil producing nations who have profited and are profiting from the conflict, and of course speculators and corporations which supply, build, etc the operations.

    The troops are winners individually having done and doing their duty in adversity.

    The strategic objective of getting control of the oil is only partially complete.

    Iran has not been invaded yet. But Bush/Chenney are not out of office yet either.

    Has the war been worth fighting?

    Short term for the nation- no.

    Long term for the nation- probably not.

    If US/UK oil companies get the oil concessions at the fire sale terms they demand the nation profits from control of a lot of oil in the future.

    The USA and the dollar have been destroyed from super power status and monetary standard to pave the way for the North American Union and Amero.

    For the USA and Constitution Iraq has been a disaster: for the New World Order it is right on tract and a success.

  35. 35 Justin from Iowa
    March 20, 2008 at 16:59

    Cross posting from the other Iraq topic:

    The war as it was prosecuted was wrong. The United States going in like a bunch of cowboys without serious world support was wrong. Mistake has compounded upon mistake. This war has NOT been a success. There is no “winning” in this situation, whatever the Bush administration might shout for propaganda.

    My greatest question, is why do we not hear about the Iraqi military any more? Was that not one of the cores of the American effort there, equiping and training forces so the US could withdraw? It takes a matter of months to train a US soldier, Iraqis are just as capable as their US counterparts (arguably more, they live with more bloodshed and exposure to violence than most American soldiers)

    Integrating different groups into the government, eliminating BOTH US and Iraqi corruption, and training and equipping the Iraqi Defense and police force remain the PRIMARY goals and paths to anything that might be called”success” in Iraq.

    We must quit trying to fight this war alone and causing more harm than good, and actually do what we stated we’d do from the start. Give Iraq a base, train the people who need training, and pull out to remove the disruptive presence of American troops and interests.

  36. 36 Naseem Rakha
    March 20, 2008 at 17:07

    This war has been a disaster on every single front. Osama Bin Laden is still at large, Al Quida is growing, there were no WMD in Iraq, and where there once was a stable state in Iraq, there is sectarian violence. No one knows how to bring about a positive outcome in the Iraq, and Bush’s continued praise for his own failed policies are the words of either an arrogant demagogue, or a mad man.

  37. March 20, 2008 at 17:09

    An ex Prime Minister of Great Britain, over a hundred years ago, once said “Let Sleeping Dogs Lie” , reffering to a major problem at that time that it was better to do nothing, rather than escalating the situation further which may lead to dire consequences. Several years ago a Member of Parlament in England, The Right Honourable Mr.Donald Healey warned not to get involved in Afganistan or Iraq, to do so would be opening a can of worms which would lead to dire consequences. I think perhaps we should clearly understand the culture of the people in the country before we seek to improve one way or another. Iraq under Sadam Hussien did some terrible things like the mustard gas he used to kill several inhabitants in Iraq, combined with the killings and torture he inflicted on others. Since he has been removed many have died in trying to improve the quality of life there. When Sadam Hussein was in power, He thretened to kill President Bush’s father and his family, further I saw an interview on TV, BBC I think, with a reporter after the disaster of 9/11, Sadam Hussein laughingly said ” NOW WHATS THAT TEXAS COWBOY GOING TO DO ABOUT IT”, no doubt President Bush was not amused, and soon after President Bush used his military force an invaded Iraq.
    In my oppinion ‘Two Wrongs Dont Make a Right’. However Im glad the ruthless Sadam Hussien was hanged.

  38. 38 Martha from Austin, TX
    March 20, 2008 at 17:16

    The question is “Has the Iraq war been worth fighting?”. Worth what?, to whom?, I counter.
    In terms of:
    Dollars – Military contracters and oil companies enjoy increased profits while Americans pay, if you will, both in real terms (our tax dollars, indeed, my city alone has “contributed” nearly 1.4 billion) and in humanitarian terms as our social programs are stripped and de-funded to perpetuate this debacle.
    Lives saved – Whose? – Hard to make a case for this if we consider the uncounted dead Iraqis, the nearly 4’000 American dead soldiers, as well as the 2 million children who have innocently reaped this whirlwind, and, let’s not forget all the refugees who flee rising violence and chaos.
    Global goodwill – G.W. recklessly squandered this potential asset. We are a dangerous joke to the world.
    Increased safety from terrorism – Attacks worldwide have actually increased since the war began. Moreover, on the home front, we have witnessed an aggressive and systematic assault on our civil liberties; an assault driven by the rhetoric of fear.
    An increase in democritization globally – Larry Diamond in the March/April issue of Foreign Affairs states that, “the world has slipped into a democratic recession”.
    I could go on, but what’s the point? In short, my answer is NO. I would direct listeners (and readers) to visit http://www.darcyburner.com for “A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq”, available as a PDF file.
    Thanks for having this discussion.

  39. 39 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 17:28

    So Will, I’m sure Theo van Gogh thought the same thing until he got his head nearly severed on a city street in Amsterdam. So one day, there will likely be some form of attack on Europe. At that point, what will europe do? Self censor? Give up free speech? But that would help avoid offended sensibilities, wouldn’t it? Something tells me fear will win out, especially after some attacks.

  40. 40 Kalypso
    March 20, 2008 at 17:30

    „because we acted, the world is better….“
    to be honest, I think what bush said is pretty ridiculous. I don’t see why the world should be better now – really not.
    of course, the war was a disaster. no question! they should NEVER have gone in there! Bush should at least admit his huge mistake, instead of trying to fool the public and tell them things are better now.
    Vienna, austria

  41. 41 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 17:36

    People, rather than just complain and vent, and given that there are no time machines, what do you suggest be done given the possible consequences of what you suggest?

  42. 42 Justin from Iowa
    March 20, 2008 at 17:42


    The disenfranchisement of the American people to their own government isn’t recognized or realized by the world at large, either, which is sad and frustrating as well. All Americans become seen as monsters, when good people have been trying to change our poor leader and government’s direction for some time.

  43. 43 Basse by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:43

    hi Ros,

    honestly, i dont want to think like most people would. but i feel bush or america did’nt go to this war with a thought that things would get this worse. He had good intention, and that was to make the world a better place and safer from the cruel inhuman islamic fanatics.

  44. 44 Yogesh by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:45

    Why is only west and not Muslims giving helping hand to Iraqis to make progress like Dubai? I find it strange that rather than giving helping hand to the west Muslims are against this help which no one else is ready to offer. West will be delighted to move out if fellow Muslims can help Iraqis rather than relying on terrorist attacks to make west move out.

    Tanzania helped Uganda to get freedom from Amin because different sectors of the public did not make bad problems worse due to hate between each other. So blame lack of unity amongst Iraqis rather than west for current problems.

    I hope these details make sense.

    Aylesbury UK

  45. March 20, 2008 at 17:47

    No war is worth fighting since it always leads to tragedy on both sides no matter who ‘wins’ or ‘loses’. Especially in this case there was absolutely no need to go into Iraq.

    The aim of the war was to secure oil and nothing else. WMD, Al Qaeda etc were only cover-ups. Now US has lost miserably in achieving anything. The oil prices have shot up to record levels. There were no WMDs in Iraq. Now there is also Al Qaeda in Iraq which apparently was not in Iraq before this war. Not only this, Iraqis have lost more than half a million people. There is more sectarian violence in Iraq than when Saddam ruled. Americans have lost more men and women in this war than they lost on September 11.

    Now do you think this war was worth it?

  46. 46 Scott by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:48


    Since the war was one of unprovoked aggression, it puts the United States in the category of historical notables such as the Soviet Union, China and Hitler’s Germany. For those of you who wish to attach some noble sentiment to the cause, I suggest that you review some of the propaganda from the other regimes that I have mentioned above. Each always references its actions to things like freedom, liberty, the protection of civilization or some important right.

    On the practical level, the invasion removed a despicable dictator and his sociopathic progeny, but completely destroyed the country and its infrastructure in the process. The way that I see it, if a murderous dictator is in charge and creates havoc and destruction, then it is his fault. The minute that the U.S. stepped into the picture in Iraq, it became responsible for that which followed.

    The Bush administration, so far, has completely down played what has happened to the people of Iraq, while setting up one of this century’s most notable circus shell games of financial corruption for multinational firms and poorly controlled mercenary armies.

    The Bush administration has identified Iran and Al Qaeda as its principal foes in the region. If I were rooting for these enemies, I would wake with joy in my heart, every day that the U.S. continues its bumbling ineptitude in the region. At the present, both Iran and Al Qaeda have more power, influence and future recruits than they could have ever dreamed of previously. Good show U.S.! Good show!

    Should the U.S. stay in Iraq? I think that the U.S. has the moral obligation to stay, since it is responsible for the total destruction of the country. As far as I’m concerned the U.S. can direct its entire budget and armed forces at the project until Iraqis have a functioning infrastructure and trained (whatever that means) police, judiciary system and armed forces. Then we should leave.

    I lament the death and injury of our service men and women. I also lament the Iraqi civilian deaths, which the U.S. government has such trouble acknowledging. Such precise counting for one number, such a hazy fog for the other.

    As a reward for their determined efforts in the region, I think that George Bush and Dick Cheney belong in jail.


  47. 47 isabelle by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:49


    I do not even see the use of adding any comment, it seems so obvious to me that this war is a total fiasco, from A to Z. It was based on a lie, on false allegations and on fallacious rhetorics and it produced exactely the coutrary that it was supposed to achieve.

  48. 48 Justin from Iowa
    March 20, 2008 at 17:49

    Steve. we meed to finish training the Iraqi Defense force, and hand over primary control to them. Then withdraw.

    Violence will happen, but 1 of 2 things will happen as well.

    1) Iraqis will have to go through the process of integrating everyone into their government enough to compromise with all. Success will cause violence to drop and the country can start to heal itself and rebuild its infrastructure.

    2) Iraq will collapse into a hell of civil war and violence, and the United States as part of a UN task force with the assistance of regional powers, like Iron, will be justified in going back in and trying again in Iraq. That’s the brutal option, but as continued violence shows it is what many iraqis want, so give the people what they want and pick up the pieces afterwords and try again, because you can’t run the place like a police state.

  49. 49 Tom in Oregon by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:50

    If the real cost of the War against Iraq is three trillion dollars then Bush/Cheney have spent one hundred and thirty thousand four hundred thirty four dollars and eighty cents on each one of the original twenty three million Iraqi citizens.

    ($3,000,000,000,000.00 divided by 23,000,000 = $130,434.80)

    In doing so Bush/Cheney and their conservative base have financially raped Americas children for generations in order to pay the taxes needed to pay off the bills Bush/Cheney Left Behind.

    The kids ought to be outraged, I sure am.

    Tom OREGON

  50. 50 Kwabena by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:51

    Before bush went to iraq, alqaeda and all the terrorist organisations were not there and the people although were oppressed could live normal lives by avoiding trouble with the regime. Iraq is now deeply fragmented along sectarian lines and iraqis cant be they sure will live through the day. What is the sense in eliminating sadam and then having iraq in such a mess which is almost unsolvable.

  51. March 20, 2008 at 17:51


    Thank you so much, and I am so sorry for the things that always go wrong in war.

    I crossed a huge desert through Syria and Iraq on camal when I was a young destitute kid. The desert people were so good to me, so kind. It was a great testiment to the goodness of the common people of Iraq.

    Americans do not like war. I was drafted in Vietnam era, and ended up in the marines. Spent 3 years there as an infantry officer. All my people, they just wanted to go home. Same in Iraq.

    In WWI, and WWII the Americans did not enter until the cost of those wars became incredibly costly.

    The first World Trade Center Bombing went pretty much by with America doing not much and encouraging the bad people to attack again and again. all over the world. Clinton did nothing but reduce the American military well past the point that a Gulf War II with 1/2 a million ground troops could never happen again.

    Sadaam knew this and had the idea America was a paper tiger, and the people were gutless and as soon as a few bodies came back to America the masses would scream and blame everything on the American Government.

    Then 9/11, and a new American President who did not want to be a war time President, but he had to do something. To turn the other cheek again was not possible. It was not until German troops and plans for invasion into America that a Pacifist President, Wilson, decided he had no choice but enter WWI.

    Roosevelt tried ever so hard to avoid WWII, but after Pearl Harbor he had no choice.

    Bush had actually no choice. What were his options? Allow the taliban to hide in Pakistan while that Government tried to deal with the bad guys in tribal areas that always were ungovernable by Pakistan. They flat did not do what Bush tried to do, and there were so many oil for food violations, that led reasonable people to assume that Sadaam was up to no good.

    All this while the Kurds and Shia were hoping for the Americans to help get rid of Sadaam.

    Bush did the best he could. He had hoped that the Kurds, Shia and Sunni would work out some way to form a way to live together without Sadaam. It was a huge risk, we tried to do the right thing……..just too many ancient problems that had to be worked out.

    For America the Slave thing was a huge problem during our Revolutionary War, and we had to unite in order to fight the British…….But we were too different, and eventually we had our Civil War a century later, and just now over another hundred years later we are starting to iron out our ancient ways.

    Believe me there were so many innocent blacks and whites who had to fight the Vietnam War with so many hates showing up amoung ourselves.

    Racism like tribalism is not a one way street. The reason it…the problem….is so complicated is because racisim and tribalism are both a two way street where it is like a disease……always generating new hates from reasonable people who had already evolved into believing racism and tribalism are wrong.

    It wil be a long struggle. Sorry, but I’m proud of Bush trying to do what he thought would be better for you and the region/world.

    The trick now is to not become too discouraged, but to keep adapting till the thing is won and Iraq irons out its internal struggels.


  52. 52 Rev Bledsoe by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:53


    I am an Air Force veteran who served during the Vietnamese Conflict. We ask ourselves that question in reference to Vietnam, every time we stand at the Memorial in Washington D.C. for those that died there. I was a Medic. The conflict in Iraq is different, yet it seems the same. No, neither we nor the Iraqis have gained from the past five years. Hopefully, history will prove me wrong.

    Rev. Dr. Jesse W. Bledsoe

  53. 53 Jason by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:54

    The war is unjustified and indefensable. The US invaded a contry on false pretenses. To me, the question whether things are getting better or worse isn’t important to me at all. We went in on a lie! I try and image what Iraq will look like in 10, 20, 50 years and I’ve come to the conclusion that the US will never pull out fully. Think about it, generations of Iraqi’s are going to remember who invaded and took over their country. It was a huge mistake, George Bush’s legacy.

  54. March 20, 2008 at 17:55


    Left out that the Germans were advisors in Mexico and were planning to enter and take California, Az. ,NM, and Texas and give it back to Mexico. That is what made Wilson enter WWI.


  55. 55 Dawn by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:56

    As an American I am disgusted with this current administration and how our government has let them have free reign to pad their own pockets and wreck our economy – when Clinton was in office the Republicans spent and spent looking for reasons to impeach him from day one – yet Bush starts a war, ignores the problems in his own country and continues to throws our hard earned tax dollars around like it’s monopoly money and nothing is done to stop him – Is Iraq better off? America sure isn’t! Gas has almost quadrupled during this “war” and it is hurting the everyday hard working American.

    Isn’t it curious how we couldn’t go into Baghdad to deal with Sadam during the first Gulf War because of Arab protests, but now five years later and double the price on a barrel of oil not a word of complaint – seems to me the only ones that are better off is the Bush administration and the Arabs

  56. 56 Naseem by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:57

    This war has been a disaster on every single front. Osama Bin Laden is still at large, Al Quida is growing, there were no WMD in Iraq, and where there once was a stable state in Iraq, there is sectarian violence. No one knows how to bring about a positive outcome in the Iraq, and Bush’s continued praise for his own failed policies are the words of either an arrogant demagogue, or a mad man.


  57. 57 Greg by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:58

    It should be remembered that we did not go to Iraq to rebuild it. We went there to fight terrorism.

  58. 58 Tom by email
    March 20, 2008 at 17:59

    The Iraq war is a three trillion dollar subsidy for Bush/Cheney/PNAC and their godless global Oil corporations.

    It is the worst financial debacle in history.

    Tom in Oregon

  59. 59 Ryan
    March 20, 2008 at 17:59

    The big question is, why can’t the operation in Iraq be downgraded to a targeted security presence, along with a renewed focus on political progress? Otherwise, America is going to be there, draining lives and the American treasury, for a very long time. As much as Iraq may eventually benefit, if every oppressed regime in the world got that kind of military attention from the U.S., where would we be in ten years?

  60. 60 Greg by email
    March 20, 2008 at 18:00

    Yes, but Saddam was our tyrant!

  61. 61 Stan by email
    March 20, 2008 at 18:00

    If this war is so crutial to the US, why isnt George Bush’s children in the fight?

    Stan, Cleveland, OH, USA

  62. 62 Chernor Jalloh
    March 20, 2008 at 18:07

    The war in Iraq has is and will never worth fighting for.Saddam Hussien was armed by America and the West with chemical weapons.Donald Rumsfeld was dispatched to Iraq by the US administration for more WWD in exchange for oil that should be transported from Baghdad to Telaviv by using pipe-lines.But that fell through.There were even some documents which said that the then Israel prime minister had written a letter to Tariq Aziz for Saddam to help Israel attack Iran,but Mr Aziz was not willing to do so because Saddam will cut off his head in the following morning.

    The US plans to invade Iraq is not bring peace to America and the world,but to capture and remain in seven Arab states including Iran according to a dossier received by people.Donald Rumsfeld and one US commander were their main intentions.The US war ship that is presently in the Syrian territorial waters are just among many examples over the US plans.

    The world is insecure today morethan ever because all what was spent on the stressed troops in Iraq has gone in the air.The US army brokered a deal with sunnis resistant elements in Iraq to oust Alqaeda,but the sunni elements were not paid for months and their leaders were coming under heavy attacks by alqaeda.So,they took up arms again and now there are female suicide bombers being recruited to cause more deaths in a country that was once ruled by a Baath party leader,Saddam Hussein who was not given a fair trial.The big fish are still enjoing their pensions in the US and the west.

    Tony Blair and his couple Bush are just scandal-mongers.What annoys me most is when Bush makes jokes to the press while his soldiers are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.The war in Afghanistan was well supported,but those guys are not fighting the Taleban,instead they are busy playing some play station games and looking at posters of naked women and on their PCs.

    Are we to wait for another five more years or more for the bloodshed in Iraq to stop?I wish there will be peace and reconcilliations to all Iraqis.

  63. 63 carlos King
    March 20, 2008 at 18:07

    Hi Ros and WHYS family,

    The only wars worth fighting period are those against poverty, homelessness, lack of heathcare, intolerance, racism, nepotism, imperialism, corruption, immorality, Godlessness etc. etc. etc.

    George Bush is smarter than many of us gave him credit for. He has successfully dooped/hoodwinked the American people into support the most inhumane, vicous, bloodthirsty war ever fought in the history of wars! The fact that he is still president of the USA is testimony to the brilliance/deviousness of the conservative righwing republicans.

    Bush says the war was just, that is, removing Saddam Hussein (who insulted his father and threaten Israel ) was/is worthy the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis that were murdered, wow! He must be the father of doopism/hoodwinkism!

    Thank God it is not on earth than the final court will be held, One day very soon George Bush and company – Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, Rove, Gingrich, McCain etc. will have to give account for the millions of Iraqis needlessly and mercilessly murdered either directly by the Americans or indirectly by the muslim militias.

    Shame on you American Supreme court for selecting George Bush as president and double shame on your American voters especially right wing religous conservatives for electing him the second time as president. I hope you’re satisfied with the state of the American economy and security!

    Carlos, Kingston-Jamaica

  64. 64 zainab
    March 20, 2008 at 18:08

    there was no TERRORISM in Iraq

  65. 65 Max by phone
    March 20, 2008 at 18:11

    Experience has shown in Somalia and Afghanistan that if there is a government vacuum, the terrorists will take over. If the US had attacked on Afghanistan, the world would have been with the US and its allies. The mistake was to invade Iraq where they created a new vacuum for the terrorists to move into.

    Max in Singapore

  66. 66 Tom D Ford
    March 20, 2008 at 18:11

    You’ve heard of Blood Diamonds?

    The Iraq War is for Blood Oil!

  67. 67 Mason by email
    March 20, 2008 at 18:13

    Every word that comes out of President Bush’s mouth, whether he is speaking about the economy or the wars, is a lie. The world is far more dangerous now then before because of the war in Iraq; as far as preventing Saddam’s aggression towards his neighbors and not using chemical weapons: he had not invaded anyone in 12 years, nor used chemical weapons in close to 20 years. For President Bush to claim these as positives for the Iraq war is disgusting. As a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (who is, fortunately, not in the Navy any longer) I am lucky that I have not had one of my close friends from school die. This war is wrong! President Bush and Vice President Cheney, should both stand trial for war crimes.

    Park City, Utah

  68. 68 Angela from Washington D.C.
    March 20, 2008 at 18:14

    The world is not a better place now than it was when Saddam was in power. I did not support the Iraq invasion, most of my friends did not support the Iraq invasion. The people that did support the invasion supported it because people believed there was a connection between Saddam and Osama Bin Laden. I believe the world is in worst shape but I don’t believe we can leave at any time. This is war is going to cost the U.S. a lot of money and time and there is no way we are going to leave anytime soon. There has been more terrorism because of the invasion and I don’t know how the situation is going to get any better.

  69. 69 Laird
    March 20, 2008 at 18:18

    Does mr bush listen to him self, he has to be crazy, how is Iraq a better place. If this is his idea of a better place then keep it. Innocent people have died by the hundreds of thousands in this war , maybe Saddam may have been what he was but were iraqis dieing at this rate when he was in power? you mr bush sir, is the real axis of evil. I sorry but all i see is a country that has been sent back to the ice ages.

  70. 70 Mason by email
    March 20, 2008 at 18:19

    The war after 9-11 was in Afghanistan, not Iraq. The only things the war in Iraq has done are: taken important funds from the war against the real enemy, global terrorism and given the terrorists an invaluable recruitment tool. Saddam was evil, and he needed to go, but it was NOT the United States’ responsibility to act unilaterally to bring this about.

    Park City, Utah

  71. 71 Anthony
    March 20, 2008 at 18:22

    If Saddam was so evil, then why was he so buddy buddy with the Reagan Administration? remember this picture:


    Rumsfield shaking hands with a good guy in the 80’s, then years later he had Saddam in his crosshairs!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  72. 72 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 18:26

    @ Laird:

    Bush is a politician. I have been forbidden from commenting on politicians anymore. This is what they do. Stop voting for them.

  73. 73 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 18:28

    @ Anthony

    Allegiances change. Ho Chi Minh was a CIA/OSS agent at one point during WW2. Noriega used to be a US ally, then he found himself in a Florida jail. Saddam was anti Iran. The US was anti Iran. Iran had taken over the US embassy, Iran had funded hezbollah which blew up the marine barracks in Beirut. The enemy of my enemy is my friend sort of thing.

  74. 74 zainab
    March 20, 2008 at 18:32

    Is it hard for President Bush to admit that he was wrong.
    On the 5th anniversary of his war on Iraq, he cites his big success there. what success is he talking about? and why doesn’t he have a look on the numbers of the iraqi and american deads.
    Bush strongly defended his decision of going to war and continuing it “maybe endlessly”
    He says: “Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision, and this is a fight that America can and must win.”
    NO i’m an Iraqi, and i suffered from Saddam like most iraqs, and i’m telling Bush that removing Saddam is right decision, ONLY IF the conditions (after Saddam) is better than in his days. well it is at least there was no Qaida, and no sects at Saddam’s time.
    When the american first came to iraq, i admit we felt so happy, it was our dream to get rid of Saddam, we thought that they came to free us from him and to bring us to the world that we were away from. BUT here we come, there is nothing for free, we must pay the cost. and what is the cost of removing Saddam: it is our LIFE.
    i think this is enough, we got fed up with Bush DEMOCRACY, we don’t need it any longer.
    Thank you President Bush, please take your troops back to their home to be among their family, and bring us back our peace. and don’t forget to take the “HYPOCRITES” with you.
    yours truely,

  75. 75 Justin from Iowa
    March 20, 2008 at 18:32

    Years later saddam was invading Kuwait as well. Hindsight is 20/20, Anthony. That was the Era of the cold war and all of its problems and policies. It may not have been justified, but if you don’t understand the context of an event, you should not try to explode it into an inflammatory remark.

  76. 76 Louisa Arndt
    March 20, 2008 at 18:34

    (1) Was the invasion of Iraq, deposition of Saddam Hussein, and continuing occupation “worth it”? That question is being asked of the wrong people. As to the cost in money, the U.S., which initiated the misadventure, has borne almost the entire cost, but it’s been done with borrowed dollars. Those who will be left with the debt, for the military operations, the ongoing medical care of the veterans, the cuts in our own essential infrastructure and educational needs, are the as-yet-unborn future generations, our grandchildren and greatgrandchildren who had no voice in these decisions.

    There is no outcome that would justify the cost in lives lost and ruined.

    (2) It is almost universally agreed that Saddam Hussein was a cruel dictator whose departure was necessary and welcomed. However, was the virtually unilateral invasion by U.S. forces the only or best way to accomplish it? I submit that, in the case of Saddam Hussein, and the Taliban, and any other criminals, whether individuals or organized groups or nations, the only civilized means of ending their depredations would be through the united actions of all freedom-loving and law-abiding nations. We already have the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and the United Nations Charter. Its first provision is “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” It is long past time to jettison the notion that international problems can be solved by military action or that any one country can serve as policeman of the world. War is obsolete! We humans must use our mental capacity to devise other means – or perish as a species.

    L.M. Arndt
    San Rafael California

  77. 77 Anthony
    March 20, 2008 at 18:37

    -steve. Yes, but even back then he was a horrible person. Also, no wonder Iran doesn’t care what the US says, we gave Saddam a bunch of weapons and let him have some fun on the Iranian border!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  78. 78 Cheburet by email
    March 20, 2008 at 18:41

    It is said all war ends with negotiation. That could be the only way out for the US and its allies. This war has left the world more polarized. The way to go now is a change away from Bush policy of war and more war. War doesn’t bring peace!

    Cheburet in Nairobi, Kenya.

  79. 79 Angela from Washington D.C.
    March 20, 2008 at 18:41

    I think the same thing will happen in Iraq, as Lebanon. There are so many sects that cannot agree and won’t agree. We should look at the what happened in Lebanon. Hopefully, Iraq will be better than Lebanon.

  80. 80 Syed Hasan Turab
    March 20, 2008 at 18:59

    No Iraq war is not worth for USA & Europen countries, infact Iraq & Afghnastan war along with Phalistine & Kashmir issiues is encouraging ALQUIDA with a justification of:
    (a) Crimes against humanity.
    (b) Waste of human lifes.
    (c) Human suffering’s & tragedies.
    (d) Unsatisfactory Justification.
    In the presance of illegal behaviour of Isriel & India regarding core issues of Phalistine & Kashmir with a supportive war elements providing leveld plain field to ALQUIDA.
    This is universal truth that use of power may not defeat the root cause in common intrest of a community. religion, culture & society unless you provide satisfactory & justified reason.
    Elemination and removal of ALQUIDA is essential with a good moral not with aggressive militry or excessive power abuse.
    Behaviour in International community regarding core issues need some improvement too. This is historical fact that Isriel is an illegal occupier of Arab land and contiminated International Justice with support of USA & europe are trying to change hisorical facts.

  81. 81 Will Rhodes
    March 20, 2008 at 19:05

    So Will, I’m sure Theo van Gogh thought the same thing until he got his head nearly severed on a city street in Amsterdam. So one day, there will likely be some form of attack on Europe. At that point, what will europe do? Self censor? Give up free speech? But that would help avoid offended sensibilities, wouldn’t it? Something tells me fear will win out, especially after some attacks.

    Steve – I do take your point, but this is something about our dear feral Europe, I know that many from outside the continent cannot grasp it, but even today you do get a feeling of ‘Back in the days of war…’ I wish I could put those feelings into words.

    Yes there is a threat from a man who hides in a cave and shows himself every once in a while a calls for what he calls for.

    The fear felt from the Muslim community after London was bombed was enthral. You could see it in the eyes of those Muslims who went on their daily business, some even apologising for what happened. This was Europe wide. What those bombers did was put back relations between the Muslim and indigenous people years. But – many, many people understood that it wasn’t the feeling of all Muslims. Yes – a man was murdered by fanatics, this was also understood. I don’t know if you saw the footage from the Glasgow incident – but it was ordinary people that, if allowed, went to tackle those bombers first. Believe me when I say that in Europe this is seen very differently than in the US.

    Britain went through the Irish troubles as we called them – that did put people on a footing knowing that this can happen, and people went on with their lives as normal. If you want to spout off how you hate Britain or Christians as Hamza did, go ahead, that is something you can do in a free country – not many took what he said seriously, there were those who were motivated by his words, where are they now – once it is said “enough is enough” something was done about him. But not all Muslims were tarred with the brush that he and his followers handed out thankfully.

    If Mr OBL wishes to orchestrate an attack on the UK or Europe – what can be done about it? They are under the relevant surveillance and they know it.

  82. 82 Jeremiah by email
    March 20, 2008 at 19:10

    The War in Iraq has one great benefit. The great benefit of Halliburton Stock price tripling since the invasion. This further illustrates how all political leaders can be bought and the greed of man brings great destruction.


  83. 83 Justin from Iowa
    March 20, 2008 at 19:10

    Zainab, I have to ask, why are iraqis participating in the bloodshed if they want it to stop? This is what I don’t understand. We have had 5 years of Iraqis killing Iraqis and Iraqis killing Americans and UN troops… why? And why does nobody in Iraq who is Iraqi try to stop them? I know that is over-simplified, and that there are iraqis working to make their country a safe place, but you cannot place ALL of the blame for Iraq’s collapse on America.

  84. 84 Will Rhodes
    March 20, 2008 at 19:13

    he disenfranchisement of the American people to their own government isn’t recognized or realized by the world at large, either, which is sad and frustrating as well. All Americans become seen as monsters, when good people have been trying to change our poor leader and government’s direction for some time.

    Justin – I don’t think you realise how much support there is for the ordinary American, so many of us want a strong and free US. That isn’t over-sentiment either.

    We have been looking in from the outside for a long time and wondering what has happened in the US. Only Americans can change their country – we just hope you all want to change it for the better. If that means Obama or Clinton, then so be it – but if the American voter wants McCain we have to deal with that, too. It is a hope upon hope that he realises that the Americans need to get out of Iraq at the earliest opportunity.

  85. 85 Louisa Arndt
    March 20, 2008 at 19:38

    Several writers have asked “What can be done, now?
    – The U.S. military must leave
    – The U.N., supported by its member nations – including the U.S. – must mount a “Marshall Plan” rebuilding effort, putting Iraqis to work, introducing stability, reducing ethnic hostility and violence.
    – The U.S. must support this effort, and the U.N. generally, with substantial funding. (Cheaper than an occupation to last 100 years!)
    Cooperation, good will, peace!

  86. 86 Justin from Iowa
    March 20, 2008 at 21:05

    Words to live by, Louisa.

  87. 87 Waleed-UK
    March 20, 2008 at 22:55

    The question should be Has removing Saddam and his ruthless regime worth scrificing and fighting for and the answer is YES. Has the Americans made mistakes including not living to their promise by declaring the occupation of the country, unecessary killing of inncent Iraqis and dismantling it’s Army( who did not put any resistance or fight because they were the victims of Saddam’s dragging them into 3 major wars?!)and the answer is YES. Has the Iraqis( specially the Sunnis) did not take and use the oppertunity well by welcoming, supporting and participating with their fellow Arab Sunnis to kill, rape, destroy their unity and drive their fellow countrymen out of their homes becauae either they are Shia, Christians, Kurds or Turks! and the answer is YES. Has the majority of Arab countries specially the surrounding ones still supporting by financ, media , arms and terrorists against Iraq to keep AlQaeda away from them and diverting the worlds attention about their own attrocities and human right violations such as Saudia Arabia, Libya and Eygpt and the answer is YES!. Has the radical Shias are still debating , disagreeing , fighting among each other and not united in the face of lack of national pride & interests by sunnis and out of proportion gains by the minority Kurds who proved had no national interests but their own!and the answer is YES. And finally has Isreal stopped taking advantage by all means from the current situation in Iraq including pure greed of millions of $ from Iraq’s revenue as compansation for Saddam’s long range hand grandes( so called Scud missiles! which hardly killed any one!) and the answer is No!.We all need to remember that the real price has been the heavy losses of Iraqi lives and this is very sad and should not continue because Irais have suffered enough over five decades and Iraq should not be used as the battle ground of international or regional conflicts and the answer is YES.

  88. March 21, 2008 at 03:10

    i was in kuwait in 1990-91, and from that point onwards, the Iraq”war” has been nothing more than a revisit of Vietnam except in the sand.
    we did not win there either.
    i speak from experience on both fronts
    the US govt or Commander and chief was either lied to, belived bad intel, or waanted to test the US newer “smart weapons again.
    pity we have now lost 4,000+ army, marines and air force patriots
    all the monet could have been put to use inside the US and improved many many things
    wel done programs Ross.
    listenm every day out on the road in in california

  89. 89 leila kigha
    March 21, 2008 at 09:50

    i think the war in Iraq came because of a very noble cause and that is to safe guard peace and stability for a people. But the issue is forthe past five years alot of money has been pumped and countless number of lives have been lost. Result ? Iraq is still a zone of turbulence. I think president bush saw the need for safety but he choosed the wrong method.Violence has never been the way. Dialogue at all times has proven fruitful. there are several grievances we need to let those people air out then measures can be taken.

  90. 90 Oliver in Hong Kong by email
    March 21, 2008 at 10:40

    It was nice to hear Andrew Gilligan, among other mankindly minded guests.
    Hong Kong

  91. 91 steve
    March 21, 2008 at 11:48


    Let’s not forget that those long range “grenades” (scuds), that Iraq fired at Israel and Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf war, carried payloads up to 1000kg. Given that a grenade has 80g of explosive it, it would constant one really large “grenade”, just like you could describe an atomic weapon as a really large grenade too. And let’s not also forget the purpose Saddam fired them at Israel, to provoke a response, which would then play on the Arab hatred of israel, to break up the coalition, so that Saddam would have a chance of retaining Kuwait. it’s really time to stop blaming Israel for everything. Let’s not forget that had Israel not destroyed Osirak in 1981, which the Iranians failed to destroy in 1980, Iran would probably have been attacked with nuclear weapons during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

  92. 92 Xie_Ming
    March 21, 2008 at 12:39

    The Bush/Cheney/NeoCon motives/objectives:
    1) personal revenge (Bush).
    2) control of oil (USA and Blair)
    3) aiding Israel (Neocons)
    4) advanced bases (USA and possibly Blair)
    5) domestic political aggrandisement (Bush).

    It seems that the USA decided to reassume the failed strategic imperial ambitions of Britain of some hundred years ago.

    The real reasons are above. To discuss the propaganda justifications is futile. Those Americans who believe the fairy tales should learn about the Spanish-American War and the names Lodge, Mahan and Hearst.

  93. 93 steve
    March 21, 2008 at 13:55

    Xie_Ming, how is making Iraq into a satellite of Iran aiding Israel?

  94. 94 Xie_Ming
    March 21, 2008 at 15:17

    Destroying Saddam’s army “removed an existential threat”
    according to many Israelis.

    Dissolving the officer corps, police and administration then made the Shia ascendency and links with Iran possible.

    In selling the invasion, Wolfowitz also promised that Iraqi oil would pay for it. (We cannot claim that the Neocons were bright.)

    It is true that Saddam had been supported by the USA as a way of containing Iran, and some Israelis recognized this.

    [In the administration of Bush senior, intervention objectives were ranked:
    1) oil
    2)advanced bases
    3) Israel

    With the Neocons, it was 1) oil 2) Israel 3) bases.]

  95. 95 Ros Atkins
    March 21, 2008 at 15:37

    Dear Ros,

    As someone who has lived in a tyranny before, I say the war to remove Saddam Husein from power was worth been waged by President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair. Usually, hindsight provides us humans with a sense of deja vu when a decision we once supported turns out to be wrong. The premise that the US and Britain used to enter Iraq has turned out to be wrong, but does that make the over all success of the war in removing a ruthless dictator wrong? I say no!

    Lamii Kpargoi

  96. March 21, 2008 at 15:51

    No it has not. Not by any means known to man, or God. This is Bush and Cheney’s war, period. They should be fighting it. Alone.

  97. 97 George USA
    March 21, 2008 at 16:32


    There was no call from the Iraqi Dictator to Bush expressing a regret and a clear separation away from the Muslim who attacked us on 9/11.

    Bush had no choice.

    I not only agree with you on most of your posts, but applaud many of your remarks as truth.

    We part ways on Bush.

    Chenney did have a choice (Bush did not make it) on invading Iraq based on the 1% doctrine of threat.

    Iraq had nothing to do with 911, had no WMDs, and was to be the instruction of the middle east, a point lesson while obtaining oil reserves.

    That is all pre-election Neocon theory and doctrine, read their policy papers prior to Bush in the White House.

    I do not doubt Bush believes himself: but those directing him do not.

    A phone call or lack of one is not rationalization for invasion.

  98. 98 Laird from Trinidad
    March 23, 2008 at 12:14

    @ Steve
    I would never in a million years vote for such a madman, thanks for the heads up though

  99. 99 John van Dokkumburg
    March 23, 2008 at 16:20

    Worth yes, if we know what Saddam has did in the first war, attack Kuwait then polluted the Persian Sea, flamed the oil reserves . What if he stayed and was the same person .. Not unthinkable he had overthrown all the region, hostiled that people and ruled the world oil industry.

    But then, then did we accept our what ? than that battle became a great environment disaster and then a nature and energy crises makes big chaos all over the lands. But oke not perfect but now Irak has also a chooice to choose democratie that allows people to choose ( everyone) there own direction, There is a honnest voice in the world ! But if this democtratie change was not happend and Irak had taken the region, then likely all the people who had some idea about democratie where banned from some important work, free press and religion, not choose jobs our killed. And we , the world simply imposed a boycot!

    This closed world needs to become one, dictators always wanted to be better in closing the doors for there residents and individuals .

  100. 100 zainab
    March 24, 2008 at 05:57

    hello all,
    To Justine from Iowa, how are you? well you’re asking why are iraqis killing each others?
    1- well, Iraqi peolpe are living together since a long time,we are families, friends, and neighbours, no one asks the other what are you?beacuse talking about sects was considered shameful.
    Until, 2003, when the US administration, started to use the old Policy of divide and rule. At that time we began to hear terms like Sunni, Shiite…etc. but we didn’t give them an ear. Then seeing that people started to talk about resisting the occupiers, which is a thing he himself had admitted to be legal, he concentrated on the sects issue… therefore we have the explosion of al Hadi and al Askari’s (peace be upon them) dome.Now the Civil War can break out, so that instead of resisting the occupiers, Iraqis will be busy in killing each other. So there will be an excuse to stay in Iraq.
    2- The majority of the terrorists who are killing the innocents Iraqis are non-Iraqis, they are from different countries especially the neighboring countries.
    3-Though, there are unfortunatly Iraqi criminals (under the rule of “non-Iraqi” leader) who are killing other Iraqis, but, i named them NON-Iraqi, because they accept to kill their brothers in order to gain some money. Now i have a question aren’t there criminals everywhere, and they are killing the sons of their countries, even in USA there are such people.though i don’t ask myself why they are killing each other, because i know they are MURDERERS, and they are not the majority.
    Let me tell you one thing, Iraqi people in sha Allah will stay together, as one family. I will not kill my friend cuz she is Sunni or Shiite, my friend will not kill her mother cuz she is Kurdish, My relative will not kill his wife cuz she is Sunni or Shiite…
    Yours truely,

  101. 101 Colin Anthony Cooke
    March 24, 2008 at 15:39

    War in Iraq

    For countless years young men and women, who naively trusted in their governments, died for all the wrong reasons. While nerd politicians, in their “worn in the backside” suits, made decisions based only fiscal projections, and justified there crimes with statements like: “national security” and ” for the good of the country”. – Well once again, it’s all come to no good. And it’s a sad fact that none of the usurer cowards, that started and perpetuated this particular conflict, will ever be held accountable. Bush will retire to his ranch and live in opulence, and the hawking Blair will sell his sickening grin to the highest bidder and, no doubt, pocket millions. Meanwhile, their followers and minions will skulk back into the shadows and live in denial until history forgets them. That’s how it’s always been. Nothing, including their obvious thievery and the self-evident blood on their hands, will ever be enough to result in any justice for the dead and maimed or any of the families whose lives are, and will remain, irrevocably shattered.

    Colin Anthony Cooke

    24th March


  102. 102 Whisper - Canada
    March 25, 2008 at 03:17

    The war on terror was against Bin Laden not against a country that had no Weapons of Mass destruction. The search is still ongoing, I remember seeing Bin Laden on Tv denying he had anything to do with it. After getting so much press coverage and being found guilty by them did he admit “Yes” he did it, why not? I’d probably do the same, there was no one left to believe him because of such an outrageous act. I tend to question today whether he is guilty or not, but just a scapegoat covering up something bigger. Who knows, no one in the States want the truth, they all have the conspiracy theories yet the laws seem to cover for those who look culpable, it will go down as the best cover up in history.

    You ask if it was worth fighting this war, what a farce of a war when we know the truth and the lies that were told to uphold this war is purely pathetic. I ask on what grounds? Killing thousands of innocent people for no apparent reason. The killing of Sadam was the worst thing that could have been done, if he was guilty he should have been left in prison to while away the hours and reflect upon his inhuman acts and feel the despair of the confines of a cell, they did him a favor by putting him to death and ending his misery, I sure would like to go that way, the easy way out where remorse is no longer on my conscience.

    Yet the killing of innocent people continues and MEN see it as having to claim a VICTORY one way or the other no matter how many deaths it brings about. Leave these people alone to fight among each other and solve their own problems. Men have brought into adulthood their war games that they played when children and getting a thrill of power from it.

  103. 103 John Smith
    March 25, 2008 at 18:03

    Let’s look at the benefits of the Iraq war

    1. 4000+ American “children” dead in addition to the countless allied servicemen also killed
    2. Over 100,000 Iraqi lives lost due to sectarian killings and the insurgency
    3. Rising oil prices due to the uncertainty of supply
    4. A US president so preoccupied with another country that he has forgotten to govern his own in a way which would lead to growth and security

    I am not a believer in dictatorships, but when a so called democratic person can make unilateral decisions which affect the lives of his/her own citizens in a detrimental way, can their cause be justified. All I have to say to the American people is, check how many Senators and Congressman have children serving in Iraq, then check how many have lost their children in this war and you will see that you’ve been had.
    Children are supposed to bury their parents, not parents burying their children and yet Pres. Bush has successfully managed to upset the balance of nature with his own childish ideologies.
    Has the world not learned from World Wars I and II? The only victor in war is war itself, no one wins….fatherless children, young widows, injured servicemen who receive a handshake and a medal and then spend the rest of their lives of state welfare (If it is at all coming.)

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