Georgy W. Bush’s Invasion and Occupation of Iraq: The Biggest Blunder in U.S. History?

by Ben Hoffman

Today in Baghdad, over 130 people were killed and at least 500 wounded from two car bombs. Our military forces were pulled out of Baghdad a few months ago after over six years of fighting where more than 4,000 of our soldiers have been killed. Iraq appeared to be stabilizing, but when you have a nation of religious nuts, stabilizing is always a relative term — even in times of peace.

We’ve spent about a trillion dollars on Bush’s war in Iraq and have gained little. While it’s true that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, with him in power, the country had at least some stability. What’s resulted from our invasion and removal of Hussein can only be described as anarchy. Bush had kids fresh out of college making major decisions about Iraq policy. He removed people who had a vision for the rebuilding the country and replaced them with cronies. After our invasion, he protected the oil wells but left museums and palaces to be looted.

Now our country is stuck in two wars with no good solutions, our economy remains on the brink of another depression, and we’re saddled with over twelve trillion dollars in debt from Bush’s and Reagan’s tax cuts and Republican deregulation.

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33 Comments to “Georgy W. Bush’s Invasion and Occupation of Iraq: The Biggest Blunder in U.S. History?”

  1. I know this is useless, but I will say it anyway. The Iraq war was part of a larger strategy of fighting in the Middle East instead of America. It’s called going on offense. Let’s use the jackasses countries for a battle ground instead of our country.

    Kinda like fighting Germany and Italy instead of just Japan in WW2. Such strategery is beyond your understanding.

    If you disagree, then you tell me why we were not attacked again after 9/11?

    • You’re asking the wrong question Alan. It’s not why were we not attacked AFTER 9-11; it’s why were we attacked ON 9-11. And no fair saying ‘cuz they’re crazy’ or ‘cuz they hate us’ or any of that nonsense. Only when you can answer the question can you even begin to strategize.

    • [The Iraq war was part of a larger strategy of fighting in the Middle East instead of America. It’s called going on offense.]

      Those are the words of a true right-wing sheep. Bush & Co. thought the Iraq invasion would be a “cake walk.” That we would go in and take their oil and the Iraqi people would greet us as liberators. In other words — they had no real strategy.

      As far as us not being attacked again since 9/11, our embassies have been attacked and our troops in Iraq were attacked on a daily basis for quite a while.

      How many times were we attacked on U.S. soil before 9/11? Twice. Once in 1993 and once in 1941. So it’s not like it’s been a common occurrence.

      What was the cost of the Iraq war? The deaths of over 4,000 American soldiers, 10s of thousands wounded, a trillion or so borrowed dollars, the loss of credibility in world affairs, plus the loss of opportunity to do the job right in Afghanistan.

  2. Ben
    You forgot to say it’s Obama’s fault.

  3. At least Prince George the Elder (Prince George the Younger’s wingnut father) had enough sense to realize that the results of Gulf War I should not include taking Baghdad.
    There was no entry strategy, his military folk said “oh, HELL, no!”, and we avoided that morass.
    For awhile.

    • “For a while” indeed. Eight years. Then GHWB’s little fella GW couldn’t wait to go after those bad Iraquis. Oh the damage he did us! It boggles the mind.

  4. Moe,

    I will answer your question because it has the same answer as mine. The weak get attacked, the strong do not. It is that simple. I know you don’t want to hear this but, the world is full of bad people. The only reason not to attack us is fear. When they do not fear us because we appear weak, we will be attacked.

    Also liberals do not study history so I will give you a free lesson. Hitler attacked Stalin in 1941 because Stalin appeared weak after the Russo-Finn war of 1939-1940, look it up. After Hitler was defeated, nobody including us ever directly attacked old Joe Stalin again. Why, why, why? Did he suddenly become a sweet guy? It was because Stalin would kill you and everybody who looked like you.

    Terrorists are clients of countries that do not want to attack us conventionally. When certain countries saw what happened to Saddam, their fear of us made them dial back their support of terrorist groups.

    Mr.Hoffman,

    The price of freedom was high. Not as high as having American civilians killed in America. The word for today is deterrent. By the way do you think anyone overseas is afraid Of Obama? How hard do you think the Russians were laughing when Obama cancelled the Eastern European missile shield?

    • You’re right — we are weak. But it has nothing to do with anything Obama has done.

      Our forces have been stretched thin for years. Soldiers are serving 3, 4, even 5 tours of duty because we don’t have the personal to fight two wars.

      Our country is deep in debt. How could we possibly fight another war if we’re attacked? We’re at the mercy of China to finance it.

      Bush turned our allies against us with his “you’re either with us or against us” rhetoric. There’s strength in numbers, which means having allies. Obama is trying to restore our alliances by using diplomacy. Right-wingers have called that his “apology” tour, but in reality, it’s making us stronger.

      Allan, I don’t know what your educational level is, but you have no understanding of history.

      The U.S. has not been attacked for several reasons. First of all, we have two rather large bodies of water to our east and to our west, which makes it a little difficult to attack us with large forces. To our north and south are not particularly aggressive countries. And we do have the most powerful military in the world including nuclear weapons, so it would be crazy for another country to attack us. Those are good arguments against our invasion of Iraq.

      As far as Russia is concerned, they currently have far greater concerns than starting a war with the U.S. Their experiment with a free-market economy was a miserable disaster and now they’re looking towards China as an economic model.

    • A few things Alan because our answers are NOT the same. You say:
      “The weak get attacked, the strong do not. It is that simple. ”
      Since the war(s) began because they attacked us, I’m not following the reasoning here.

      As for all that weak/strong stuff – humanity has an obligation to future generations to try to overcome the failings of their pasts. Which is why since WWI, we learned to talk to our adversaries before we shoot. We often fail at that, but we have the obligation to keep trying to be better than our natures. Else, what’s this life for?

      And you say:
      “How hard do you think the Russians were laughing when Obama cancelled the Eastern European missile shield?”
      Not very hard I don’t think. They have resisted for over a decade standing with the west in efforts to contain Iran. And now they will – it was a trade pure and simple.

      By the way, I’m a voracious reader of history and am running out of space on my bookcases. But one of my favorite stories from modern history come from the talks between Reagan and Gorbachav. The cold war would not have ended if they hadn’t sat down and talked candidly to each other. All Reagan’s advisers, people with far more experience than he had, told him it was the wrong thing to do. He said “we have to try”. I honor him for that.

    • Alan, I meant to ask what you mean by “t was because Stalin would kill you and everybody who looked like you.” Looked like me? I’m not getting htat.

  5. Mr. Hoffman, Ms. Holland,

    I am speechless. I just do not know who to correct first, or even where to start. There simply is not enough space to do justice to you two.

    I guess I’ll start with the man, cause as a conservative, I’m also a male chauvanist. Uhhh, those allies who Bush turned against us. Just who were they and what were they ever good for? During Clinton’s adventure in Bosnia, why didn’t they handle it? It was in their back yard, but they could not get their hands dirty.

    These same allies, when Bush spent months and months and months NEGOTIATING with Saddam to allow inspectors in to CONFIRM there were no nuclear weapons in Iraq, kept stabbing Bush in the back over sanctions. The same allies were totally corrupting the oil for food program. By the way as your guy B. H. O. is finding out with Iran, negotiations not backed up with a real threat of force are totally worthless.

    Ms. Holland,

    I also was once a voracious reader of history. We obviously did not read the same books. Could you please tell me when it is that we stop talking? I know that you have heard this name a thousand times so here is a thousand and one. Neville Chamberlain. The man who caused millions to die who should not have, because he believed as you do, in endless negotiations, backed up with nothing.

    Tell me what comic book did you get your Reagan, Gorbachav story from???? Reagan successfully dealt with the Russians because he was prepared to walk away from the table. Gorbachav was afraid of Reagan. Reagan was prepared to back up negotiations with strength.

    Iran will talk and talk and talk to Obama until he declares a glorious victory and allows them to get the bomb.

    • [These same allies, when Bush spent months and months and months NEGOTIATING with Saddam to allow inspectors in to CONFIRM there were no nuclear weapons in Iraq, kept stabbing Bush in the back over sanctions.]

      That’s a lie. The inspectors simply found no weapons, which didn’t fit Bush’s agenda. Bush wanted war with Iraq. Bush ordered several air strikes on Iraq in February of 2001 after only being in office about a month. Tell me war wasn’t on his agenda before getting elected.

      [Neville Chamberlain. The man who caused millions to die who should not have, because he believed as you do, in endless negotiations, backed up with nothing.]

      There’s the argument that Chamberlain appeased Hitler to buy time until England was ready to go to war. In hindsight, it wasn’t the right thing to do, but that was the rationale.

    • Alan, re Reagan. You’re not asking me a question. You’re just refusing to beleive it. So be it.

    • [Reagan was prepared to back up negotiations with strength.]

      That’s true. He was a bit senile.

    • Negotiations only work when parties are prepared to walk away from the table. Reagan wasn’t threatening Gorbachov – he was engaging him. Perestroika was already underway in Russia; the change was coming. Reagan’s advisors didn’t believe it was real and htey didn’t trust Gorbachov. Reagan – again, to his eternal credit – went ahead anyway because, like i said before, ‘we have to try’.

      And Alan, I think I’ve been very polite and respectful of others though this thread – so suggesting I got my Reagan story from a comic book means you are not respectful of others. You seem to be furious that I said something you disagree with.

  6. Indeed, he was getting senile Ben (which is terrifying on its own), but those meetings, and Reagan’s gut vs. his top level advisors, made all the difference. So in all his painful and destructive eight years, he did this one thing right.

    • It’s debatable as to whether Reagan’s rhetoric and the Star Wars project contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union. Their economy was in shambles from the late 70s on and they just couldn’t keep up the military spending. We couldn’t either, but we just went deep into debt rather than cut the spending.

      • Right. It wasn’t the weapons; it was the spending. They tried to keep pace and they couldn’t, which is why Gorbachev initiated perestroika – he knew their model had failed. And the talks with Reagan were far less abut containing weapons than they were about beginning to establish some trust. Not much! But some. And that was enough.

  7. Oh brother. Libs just don’t want to admit that Reagan was better than their beloved idiot Carter. The man that got us double digit inflation, recessions, gas shortages, a hostage crisis and the lowest American prestige level EVER.

    • Actually, the gas shortages occured under Nixon. Carter was an infective president but Reagan was a horrible president. He tripled the national debt, supplied arms to the mujahideen in Afghanistan that would become Al-Qaeda and attack us. He armed both Iran and Iraq and punished Israel for destroying Iraq’s nuclear facility.

      The only thing Reagan could do well was make a good speech.

      • He also ignored the AIDS crisis for seven years until one of his friends died from it. Yeah, a great guy.

      • So Reagan triples the deficit and he is the worst president ever yet your beloved Obama can QUADRUPLE the debt and he’s the best thing since buttered bread?

        Obama basically says to Iran we’ll enrich your uranium for you as long as you don’t make weapons out of them. Is he an idiot or just plain naive? But he’s just creating world peace right? C’mon man, you don’t really believe that do you?

        An Informed Mind
        http://aninformedmind.wordpress.com

  8. While I agree with Alan that the war we fought in Iraq had a larger Middle East strategy it is interesting to look at the level of human suffering before and then after the invasion.

    Saddam became President in 1979 and was deposed in 2003. During that time Saddam was responsible for 600,000 to 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians. That’s between 2105 and 3509 a month. Using numbers from iraqbodycount.org/ there have been reported 93,793 to 102,330 civilian deaths since we invaded. That’s 78 months ago now. That comes out to be between 1,202 and 1311 civilian deaths per month. The difference is between 903 and 2198 civilians a month.

    In other words, since we have invaded Iraq, we have save between 70,434 and 171,444 people.

    Why do Liberals HATE the people of Iraq so much?

    • If that’s our rationale for invading Iraq, why haven’t we gone into Darfur? Why do conservatives hate the people of Darfur so much? Why all the hatred? What did they ever do to you that you hate them so much?

      • If that’s our rationale for invading Iraq, why haven’t we gone into Darfur?

        I agree with you. This wasn’t our rational; but it IS interesting, isn’t it?

        Why do conservatives hate the people of Darfur so much?

        Are you advocating an invasion into Darfur?

    • Pino – that’s not a fair argument, because Iraqi civilian deaths from ’03-’07 are estimated to be as high as 200,000, about half of that from our bombs during invasion; the rest from fighting on the ground and between Shia and Sunni, which was unleashed after our invasion.

      • Iraqi civilian deaths from ‘03-’07 are estimated to be as high as 200,000,

        http://www.iraqbodycount.org doesn’t agree with you.

        But let’s say you are right and we use 200,000. That changes the high from 1,311 to about 2,622; a little less. And THAT number is still 900 less per month than the death that occurred during the resign of Hussein.

        Using numbers that the Left doesn’t support, we still are saving about 1k Iraqi men, women and children a month.

      • Who the hell knew there are competing body count sites. I note the following caveat at IBC; they say:

        IBC’s figures are not ‘estimates’ but a record of actual, documented deaths.

        In war, estimates are essential. Noone can ‘document’ the number of civilian casulaties in WWII or Vietnam. It’s not possible. So confining the count to ‘documented deaths’ is useful, but far from definitive.

        And applying ‘averages’ from one decade to the years of a different decade is not valid methodology. Sorry.

  9. Ms.Holland,

    You said, ” .” Looked like me? I’m not getting htat.” I apologize for the arcane reference. The meaning was that Stalin would murder you and anyone related or associated with you. It was an intentional misquote from an old George Carlin routine that I can’t repeat here.

    You said, “And Alan, I think I’ve been very polite and respectful of others though this thread – so suggesting I got my Reagan story from a comic book means you are not respectful of others. You seem to be furious that I said something you disagree with.”

    Guilty as charged. I don’t know how we are to be respectful on this board. I disrespected your thought not you. I don’t recall calling you anything besides Ms. Holland. The way you presented it, Reagan over ruled his dissenting staff because negotiating in itself was the way to peace. I cannot be respectful of a history rewrite to that extent.

    Mr. Hoffman,

    So now we come to your historical rewrite. “There’s the argument that Chamberlain appeased Hitler to buy time until England was ready to go to war. In hindsight, it wasn’t the right thing to do, but that was the rationale.”

    Well you did tell a partial truth in that England was unprepared for war. Wonder who to blame for that? However, Neville Chamberlain was not appeasing Hitler to buy time for English rearmament. All of the evidence I’ve ever seen shows that the Prime Minister truly believed Hitler could be bought off by sacrificing Czechoslovakia.

    I bet President Obama believes Ahmadinejad can be bought off. Let’s see maybe with money, peaceful Uranium, apologies. What if we give him Israel?

    • Alan – his aides didn’t want Reagan to even meet again with Gorbachev. And THAT’s when Reagan said “we have to try”. I’d cite it for you but my two Reagan biographies are loaned out right now.

      From the wiki on Rekjavik Summit:

      The negotiations failed because of Gorbachev’s insistence on linking the SDI program to any agreement on eliminating INF missiles in Europe and reducing NATO tactical nuclear weapons and Warsaw Pact conventional forces, and because of Reagan and the American delegation’s refusal to negotiate over SDI research. The meeting adjourned with no agreement. Nevertheless, participants and observers have referred to the summit as an ENORMOUS BREAKTHROUGH (caps mine) which eventually facilitated the INF Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty), signed in Washington on December 8, 1987.

    • [Well you did tell a partial truth in that England was unprepared for war.]

      See, lying is an integral part of right-wing ideology and life, which is why you don’t think anything of calling someone else a liar.

      A lie is stating something as fact that you know is not true; it’s not just something you don’t agree with. What I stated was an opinion, and it wasn’t even my opinion.

      [I bet President Obama believes Ahmadinejad can be bought off. Let’s see maybe with money, peaceful Uranium, apologies. What if we give him Israel?]

      Now that statement is just the opinion of the uninformed or misinformed. Ahmadinejad doesn’t control the Iranian military — that would be the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

  10. Ms. Holland,

    The point again is not that Reagan met again with the Russians and the world was saved. The point was that President Reagan held firm on his conditions. He either got what he wanted or he walked. The Russians caved because they had to. Their economy could no longer match the United States in paying for expensive weapons.

    Reagan got peace on his terms because he did not agree to peace at any cost like Neville Chamberlain. Peace at any cost brings war. As they say in Latin “Si vis pacem, para bellum.” “if you want peace, prepare for war”

    Mr. Hoffman,

    “A lie is stating something as fact that you know is not true; it’s not just something you don’t agree with. What I stated was an opinion, and it wasn’t even my opinion.”

    I hope my memory does not fail me in our future discussions. One of my joys in participating in these types of forums is to hang folks up by their own words. Many of your opinions read as if you are stating fact.

    “”[I bet President Obama believes Ahmadinejad can be bought off. Let’s see maybe with money, peaceful Uranium, apologies. What if we give him Israel?]””

    “Now that statement is just the opinion of the uninformed or misinformed. Ahmadinejad doesn’t control the Iranian military — that would be the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”

    I have always considered myself well informed, but I am not offended that you disagree. I cannot see where your point has any validity at all. Ahmadinejad while not having absolute control of his military is certainly acting with the authority of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    In simple terms, when President Obama offers up Israel to Iran, Ahmadinejad has Power of Attorney to accept it.

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