It was on this day in 2003, that George W. Bush addressed the country in prime-time to announce that weapons inspections have failed and we were giving Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave the country and surrender his pistol for display in the George W. Bush Library. By March 19th, 2003, Shock and Awe was a go, and the missiles were flying– hallelujah!
In an interview with The Australian Times, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld from 2001-2005, Paul Wolfowitz, reflected upon the adventures of neoconservatives to preemptively bomb and invade the Iraqi people into a quick submission, telling the paper that:
there “should have been Iraqi leadership from the beginning, rather than a 14-month occupation led by an American viceroy and based on “this idea that we’re going to come in like (General Douglas) MacArthur in Japan and write the constitution for them.”
It’s amazing, though, how fast the Iraqi constitution included opening up undiscovered oil wells to multi-national corporations for development– the same oil fields that were going to fund the war!
In the interview, Wolfowitz mocks Colin Powell for voicing skepticism throughout the push for war, saying Powell was basically paranoid that he was being lied to by the administration, even suggesting that Colin Powell was a divisive force within The House Of Bush.
He goes on to state that he was surprised there was any resistance– something the administration– including Paul Wolfowitz– had no plan in place to deal with whatsoever.
They were making it all up as they went along. The Iraqi resistance, the insurgency– or people willing to strap bombs to their bodies to resist occupation– were all unforeseeable according to war planners in retrospect.
The war in Iraq was launched March 20, 2003, in Baghdad and unexpectedly stretched on for 106 months, just short of nine years. During that time, 1,111,610 Americans served there for a total of 2,337,197 deployments, with some serving two or more times.
Four thousand, four hundred and eighty-eight of them came home in flag-draped coffins, including 110 women, according to Defense Department data. Thirty-two thousand, two hundred and twenty-one were brought home with serious combat wounds ranging from concussions to multiple limb amputations. Two hundred and thirty-five took their own lives while deployed.
In Iraq, 115,376 Iraq civilians were killed between 2003 and 2011 as sectarian fighting intensified, according to the Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index, while the number of internally displaced Iraqi civilians rose from 400,000 in 2003 to 2.7 million by 2010.
Many of the Americans who fought in Iraq returned strengthened, with newfound confidence, deep friendships and pride of service. Others have returned with mental scars, diagnosed or not. Surveys by the Army Office of the Surgeon General found in 2006 that 18.6 percent of troops deployed in Iraq suffered “acute stress.”
Totally worth it.
March 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.
The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.
When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war’s death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.
The report, the work of about 30 academics and experts, was published in advance of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.
It wasn’t until an up and coming Senator from Illinois by the name of Barack Obama began to make a lot of noise drawing attention to the Bush administration’s abject lies and failures in Iraq, which catapulted him to the Presidency and finally achieving full withdrawal in December of 2011 when all remaining troops were ordered out of Iraq.
Since George W. Bush left office, long after the Mission Accomplished banner waived high above the world as proof of our superiority, he’s been painting doggies.