Iraq War 10 Year Anniversary
The Hiller Instinct: Iraq War 10 Year Anniversary
When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 with bombs designed to shock and awe Saddam Hussein into quick surrender, who would have thought the fight would last more than a decade?
Former Secretary of State, Colin Powell said before the war, "The facts and Iraq's behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction."
As the world knows now, Saddam did not have W.M.D.'s, but that wasn't known then. So the furious offensive continued. Within weeks, a huge statue symbolizing the reign of Saddam Hussein was torn down and destroyed. Less than two months after it began, President Bush decided shock and awe was a mission accomplished.
"Major combat operations have ended in Iraq. The U.S. and our allies have prevailed," said former President Bush on the USS Abraham Lincoln.
When Saddam Hussein was captured and arrested a few months later, hiding in a hole, you might have thought the war was over, but it wasn't. When a long-shot senator from Illinois announced he was running for president in 2007, the invasion of Iraq was still center stage.
President Obama said back then, "We ended up in a war that should have never been authorized and should never have been waged."
Now, more than half a decade later, that's still a powerful argument. Nearly 4,500 U.S. service men and women died in Iraq. The U.S. spent more than two trillion dollars on the war there.
In December, 2011, the War in Iraq officially ended with a ceremony in Baghdad, but the fighting didn't stop. Suicide bombers keep proving that, in attacks that kill and maim.
So was the War in Iraq worth it?
“Yes," says Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister who was George Bush's closest ally.
"If you ask the basic question: is their world better off without Saddam than with him? Then I think the answer is pretty clear and that in the end in the judgment you have got to make," Blair said.
That's not the judgment I make.
Look at Iraq and the middle east ten years ago, then look at them now. To my eye, they're more conflicted and more dangerous today than they were before we invaded Iraq.
So, I don't think we'd do it again.