Why Did Bush Destroy Iraq?
Every Reason Put Forward Has Been Proven False
By Paul Craig Roberts
03/11/06 -- -- March 20 is the third anniversary of the Bush
regime's invasion of Iraq. US military casualties to date are
approximately 20,000 killed, wounded, maimed, and disabled. Iraqi
civilian casualties number in the tens of thousands. Iraq's
infrastructure is in ruins. Tens of thousands of homes have been
destroyed. Fallujah, a city of 300,000 people had 36,000 of its
50,000 homes destroyed by the US military.
Half of the city's former population are displaced persons living in
Thousands of Iraqis have been detained in prisons and hundreds have
been brutally tortured. America's reputation in the Muslim world is
The Bush regime expected a short "cakewalk" war to be followed by
the imposition of a puppet government and permanent US military
Instead, US military forces are confronted with an insurgency that
has denied control over Iraq to the US military. Chaos rules, and
civil war may be coming on top of the insurgency.
On March 9, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the man who has
been totally wrong about Iraq, told Congress that if the
unprecedented violence in Iraq breaks out in civil war, the US will
rely primarily on Iraq's security forces to put down civil war.
What Iraqi security forces? Iraq does not have a security force.
The Shia have a security force. The Sunnis have a security force,
and the Kurds have a security force. The sectarian militias control
the streets, towns and cities. If civil war breaks out, the "Iraqi
security force" will dissolve into the sectarian militias, leaving
the US military in the middle of the melee.
Is this what "support the troops" means?
President Bush's determination to remain in Iraq despite the obvious
failure of the attempted occupation puts Bush at odds with the
American public and with our troops. Polls show that a majority of
Americans believe that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake and that
our troops should be withdrawn. An even larger majority of the
troops themselves believe they should be withdrawn.
Yet Bush, who is incapable of admitting a mistake, persists in a
strategic blunder that is turning into catastrophe.
Bush's support has fallen to 34 percent.
The war's out of pocket cost to date is approximately $300
billion--every dollar borrowed from foreigners. Economic and
budgetary experts have calculated that the ultimate cost of Bush's
Iraq war in terms of long-term care for veterans, interest on
borrowed money, and resources diverted from productive uses will be
between $1 trillion and $2 trillion.
What is being achieved for this enormous sacrifice?
No one knows.
Every reason we have been given for the Iraqi invasion has proved to
be false. Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction.
Reports from UN weapons inspectors, top level US intelligence
officials, Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill, and leaked top
secret documents from the British Cabinet all make it unequivocally
clear that the Bush regime first decided to invade Iraq and then
looked around for a reason.
Saddam Hussein had no terrorist connection to Osama bin Laden and no
role in the 9/11 attack. Hussein was a secular ruler totally at odds
with bin Laden's Islamist aims. Every informed person in the world
When the original justifications for the US invasion collapsed, Bush
said that the reason for the invasion was to rid Iraq of a dictator
and to put a democracy in its place. Despite all the hoopla about
democracy and elections, no Iraqi government has been able to form,
and the country is on the brink of civil war. Some Middle East
experts believe that violence will spread throughout the region.
The brutal truth is that America's responsibility is extreme. We
have destroyed a country and created political chaos for no reason
Seldom in history has a government miscalculated as badly as Bush
has in Iraq. More disturbingly, Bush shows no ability to recover
from his mistake. All we get from our leader is pig-headed promises
of victory that none of our military commanders believe.
Our entire government is lost in confusion. One day Vice President
Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld tell us that we are having
great success in training an Iraqi military and will be able to
begin withdrawing our troops in a year. The next day they tell us
that we will be fighting the war for decades.
Bush's invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Bush's attempt to cover up
his mistake with patriotism will ultimately discredit patriotism.
America has to be big enough to admit a mistake and to bring it to
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the
Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street
Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.
He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached
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