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The Iraq War: Fifteen Years Later


The Iraq War: Fifteen Years Later

James Zogby

Over the next few weeks, I want to take a look back to February and March of 2003, to those fateful days leading up to the Bush administration’s disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. I remember all too well the lies that were told, the hysteria that was created, the bullying tactics that were used to silence debate, and the mass mobilization that was organized in opposition to the war.


Between PNAC’s white paper of 1998 and Oded Yinon’s 1970s plan for a Greater Israel (stretching from the Sinai all the way to the Euphrates) is Brzezinski’s The Grand Chessboard (1997) discussing the surrounding of Russia and the prevention of a regional hegemon arising in the ME. What was never considered was the precautionary principle. Same thing with Ukraine.


It is important to look back at the Iraq war and its consequences; who fomented it, the propaganda and lies used to “justify” it - also looking back at the war in Syria and how it evolved.The current expansion of that war by Turkey and warmonger Erdogan against the Kurds, and Israel under nut-case racist netanyahu, is more than important, it’s critical!

it’s even more Critical to look forward to the israeli -US push to war against Iran! The lies and fabrications that led to the Iraq war are being mirrored by netanyahu and his lap-dog US under the trump regime! Israel has fomented war against all potential rivals to their racist occupation, ethnic cleansing, and illegal colonization -theft - of all of Palestine! They have subverted US foreign policy and politics FAR more than any other nation!

The familiar propaganda and warnings of Iran being the “worlds greatest threat” by the odious pathological liars, trump and netanyahu have all been seen before! Two nuclear armed expansionist states under pathological leaders of zero integrity are the real proven threats to world peace! Netanyahu is the image of his own words…a pathological racist warmonger driven by extremist zionist supremacy!


Bad policy decisions can and sometimes will build upon themselves in a relentlessly evil way. We helped nudge Iraq into war with Iran. Bad communication between Bush the First and our Ambassador to Iraq led to Desert Storm. If Bush had been a little smarter and less belligerent, diplomacy might have made all the difference. Then Clinton was faced with tough choices and no easy answers. W and Cheney went all in to put to ruin the fragile mess that was Iraq. I, a humble farmer, knew it was idiocy to attack Iraq over trumped up stupidities and with the added feature of the inevitable problems of Sunni, Shia, and Kurds. I wrote letters to the editor and marched, yet knew my actions were almost certainly hopeless. Hopelessness is however no excuse for inaction.


If only all of those veterans had studied history and then not volunteered.


and that does not include the 3.5 to 5 million misplaced, or the ongoing health risks generated by the war, such as the marked increase in birth defects.


These numbers greatly undersea civilian deaths resulting from these slaughters. A Johns Hopkins study suggested ten times as many. The Bush/Clintonian sanctions killed at least half a million human beings. The numbers are so huge that even saying them is hard. But we musty them as accurately as possible. Thank You for bringing up the massive environmental devastation and its many consequences, such as birth defects.


This is a noble venture by Zogby, but he should not shy away from hard facts, such as civilian deaths that are many times larger than what he suggests, the massive environmental degradation, the normalization of slaughtering Mideatserners and South Asians, the economic context (think oil and the MIC), the total cooperation of both wings of the Duopoly on the federal level, the complicity of the mass media - including NPR and PBS - and, as a number of commenters have written here, the complicity and cheerleading by “the only Democracy in The Mideast.” And all of this is on behalf of capitalist plutocrats and oligarchs, largely based in the U.S.


I would clarify for Mr. Zogby that Bush and the Neo-cons knew at the time they were making the case for war with Iraq (2002-3) that it was based on a stack of preposterous lies.

I could not get this published in the US MSM . .


Well written article … We love war as a country. Over 50% of our tax dollars go to war no matter who is President. Here is a great link w a alot of information,

Fighting for a U.S. federal budget that prioritizes peace, economic security and shared prosperity



Excuse me! Bush did not ignore American public when millions of us tried to stop this shocking and awful Iraqi invasion, Bush was told to ignore American public opinion! Bush, like all most all Presidents and Congress are nothing but stooges for the war profiteers.


When, tell me when… will the narrative be changed! It is not a disaster if you are a war profiteer; it is not lost treasure, it is found treasure. We keep hearing about the costs of wars but never an itemized list of the profiteers of wars!


Fifteen tears ago, as a younger man (who actually worked as a civilian for the army at the time (in the Corps or Engineers - nothing war related) I engaged myself in the fight against the Iraq Invasion like nothing I have done before. I am proud to say that I was part of the many millions who got in the streets and tried to stop this fucking atrocity.

And yeah, but for my good Branch Chief who watched my back and stood up of me, I would have gotten fired by the District office Colonel, probably been effectively blacklisted from employment in my profession and facing retirement in poverty, for my efforts.

When the fuck are WE, who risked our livelihoods to resist this atrocity, going to be told “thank-you for your service”? When are WE going to get preferred seating on airplanes and discounted breakfasts in diners? Since when are idiotic chumps and dupes getting their legs or lives lost in service to capitalist gangsters “heroes”, but those of us who stood by out moral convictions at sometimes great cost get no recognition, or worse, fired or a criminal record for our efforts. Fuck Amerikkka.


I see no similarities.

The Syrian Civil War started in 2011 with the arrest and brutal torture of children who drew anti-Assad grafitti. Peaceful protests against these acts - similar to the ones in Greece in 2008 over the police killing of a youth that seem to have been forgotten. These grew into broader anti-austerity, anti-Assad protests similar to the later ones going on in Greece at the same time. These protest were brutally crushed with massacres by Assad. It was then that the protestors realized that only armed struggle would work and formed the Free Syrian Army.

Involvement by superpowers - and Islamic extremists - only happened later. And no, the US was never “Anti-Assad”. Assad was always am arms-length ally of US interests - they even sent suspected “terrorists” like Canada’s Mahr Arar there under their use of Assad as a “torture contractor”.

Had the US been “anti Assad” in 2011 to 2012, the war would have quickly ended with Assad fleeing or being killed - although, of course the US would not have supported the leftists in forming a government to replace Assad either.

(I’ll provide sources and citations upon request)


Thank-you for your service!

And yes, the useless, Bush-ass-kissing corporate media was at their absolute worst no only in early 2003, but in late 2001 too.


Exactly. Over a decade ago it was pretty widely agreed that Iraqi civilian deaths were probably closer to a million. And that does not include the 500,000 women and children Albright offered up as a fair price to pay for the sanctions.


Except that Wesley Clark let the cat out of the bag in 2002 when testifying to Congress. Syria was included in a list of 7 countries the US was going to invade or overthrow.

So yes, the US has absolutely been involved in attempting to overthrow Assad for decades.

‘Leftists’? Lol
We armed terrorists. That is well documented!


And what exactly is wrong with an embolden Iran? What exactly is Iran emboldened to do? Is it to aid the Palestinians in their resistance to their brutal, cruel, and immoral subjugation? Leaving aside such horrors as “mowing the grass”, is there some rule of the universe that Palestinians should surrender their land and home and resources to others just because they are Jews or Jewish? I don’t get it:


“In warfare I have heard of clumsy haste, but I have never seen cleverness drawn out, and there has never been a case of a state benefiting from drawn out warfare.”
—Sun Tzu, Art of War