Iraq War five years on

Anniversaries are a time for taking stock.  Five years into the Iraq War there has been a great deal of comment. 

Seamas Milne in the Guardian wrote: "Most Iraqis believe the presence of foreign troops is the main cause of violence and 70% want them out now".

A leader in the same issue of the Guardian sums it up like this: "A dictator was toppled at the cost of provoking a murderous civil war".

I remember some confusion about the point of the invasion.  Deposing Saddam Hussein was one aim and the need to deal with weapons of mass destruction was also high up the list.  Those weapons were never found and Saddam Hussein was arrested and later executed. 

What is the point of the war going on now? So far 4000 American troops have died and many more Iraqis (although the exact figure is not clear) are dead as well.  We more often hear of the number of deaths to British or American troops than we do of Iraqi deaths.  The organisation Just Foreign Policy have an estimate of more than one million Iraqi deaths, much higher than the estimates usually given in the US media.

George W Bush has his own way of looking at things.  After spending so much money and spilling so much blood I suppose that he cannot admit that it is a fiasco, not worth the money or the suffering.  When he says that "the battle in Iraq is noble, it is necessary and it is just" I cannot agree at all.  

Update, 12 January 2009: The war in Iraq is one of the difficult issues facing Barack Obama when he becomes President of the USA on 20 January 2009.  He stands for finishing the war and bringing troops home although not doing so suddenly.  He says that although not enough thought was given to the invasion and its aftermath careful attention should now be given to managing the withdrawal. 

Another pressing and difficult problem facing President Obama will be the state of the economy and the size of the deficit.  Of course part of the reason is the huge cost of the war in Iraq.   

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