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Iraq: Was It Worth It?

David Rieff, from The New Republic‘s Iraq War retrospective:

And geostrategists insisted that the war would deal a major blow to Iranian power in the Middle East by counter-posing a democratically inclined, Western-leaning Iraq. But Iran has been the real victor in Iraq, perhaps the only victor apart from the Kurds.

And the losers? Apart from the Sunnis, whose hegemony was shattered by the force of American arms, that would be the United States. 4,487 dead, 32,223 wounded, 20 percent of whom have catastrophic brain or spinal injuries, and this is not even counting psychological injuries. A trillion dollars spent. The systematic torture of prisoners that, as we are now learning seems to have been sanctioned at the highest levels of the chain of command in Iraq. Corruption both by U.S. uniformed personnel and contractors, which, from the report of the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, seems to have existed to a degree unparalleled in American military history. And all this so we can have Maliki ruling Iraq instead of Saddam Hussein! Could anyone who supported this war today encounter a relative, spouse, or friend of one of the American soldiers who was killed or grievously injured in Iraq and tell them with a straight face that this war was worth their sacrifice?

Or an Iraqi Christian. From NBC News:

Rana isn’t alone: Bombings, kidnappings and generalized violence unleashed by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Hussein caused hundreds of thousands of Christians to flee their homeland.

While there is no centralized source of information on the number of Christians who have left Iraq, it is estimated that there were 2 million there in the 1990s. That number has fallen to between 200,000 to 500,000 today, according to church leaders.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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