Last week was the ten year anniversary. When we first began, it was supposed to be a short period that we would be together. It was supposed to be an in an out thing. People told us that it was a matter of my life and death to accept things even though we later found out that there was no life and death issue involved. I was told that it probably wouldn't cost me a dime because the other group has lots of assets that we could use to finance the whole operation. In reality it cost billions. Last week was the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war.
Back then, I got into a debate on another blog about the war saying that I wasn't in favor of it. My view didn't win too many fans. I said I didn't believe in the WMD theory that the Occupant at the time was trying to sell. To me, it seemed like he was grabbing at straws to convince us to support the war. Our country was never in danger even if they had WMD's but we certainly were if we went in. But my biggest reason for being against the war was that if Saddam was removed, the long repressed Shia majority would come to power and exact their revenge. They would be every bit as ruthless as the dictator they replaced. We would be getting in the middle of a centuries old religious war.
Sadly, I was right. Although we are officially out of Iraq, they are still in the middle of a religious civil war with thousands dying. Have we brought democracy to Iraq? Maybe. Are they better off because of the democracy? I would say no. More people are dying on a daily basis now than under Saddam. Entire neighborhoods are being vacated if you happen to be the minority religion. Those who could scrape up the money have already left for other countries. We sacrificed thousands of young lives and maimed many thousands more for this. We have saddled ourselves with hundreds of billions of debt for this because Wolfowitz was wrong about us being able to pay for the war with Iraq's assets. I don't think we are any safer because of the war and I think one could make a convincing argument that we are less safe.
I certainly hope that if nothing else, this will be used as a lesson for eternity to never go into another country unless we truly know what we are getting into and have a defined plan for how we will get ourselves out. We had neither and after ten years, it still is painfully obvious.