On March 19, 2003 George W. Bush finally achieved his goal: war with Iraq. Bush and his advisors, especially VP Dick Cheney and Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, had been pushing the need for pre-emptive war with Iraq even before 9/11, when America was attacked by terrorists -- none of whom were from Iraq.
The news media helped make the neocons' case, with the nightly "Drumbeat to War" and wall to wall coverage of "weapons of mass destruction" (which turned out not to exist) and Condi Rice's "we don't want the next smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." The warmongers even trotted Colin Powell -- a man who should have and probably did know better -- along to the UN to shill for the war they so badly wanted.
Nine years later, US troops are finally out of Iraq -- thank you, Barack Obama for keeping that campaign promise! -- but the costs of Bush's mistaken war have been huge.
In terms of money, the US spent over $3000 per second for 8.5 years. The total cost for the Iraq war will be over $4 trillion, more than the cost of World War II!
It also cost lives:
- 4,487 US troops killed
- 32,223 US droops wounded
- 30% of US troops develop serious mental health problems after returning home
- 150 journalists killed
- The death toll of Iraqis in uncertain, but low estimates put the number of civilians killed at 100,000 ... possibly as high as half a million.
Thank you, pro-life neocons, for all this killing.
And after all this, we certainly didn't "win the hearts and minds" of the Iraqi people. Funny how invading a country doesn't make the people love you, huh.
But the Iraq war is in the past now, and we'll never get fooled again like George W. Bush and his team fooled us in 2003, right? Wrong.
GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney is taking advice from the same people who surrounded George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. There is no reason to think the outcome for a Romney administration's foreign policy would be any different from the last time this group of neo-conservatives -- including Robert Kagan, Eric Edelman, Grant Aldonas, Robert Joseph and Eliot Cohen -- controlled the levers of power.
Are we really that dumb? Will Americans choose once again to put the geniuses who gave us the Iraq war in a position to repeat their mistakes?
Yes ... if the radicals who comprise the Republican party are allowed to choose the next president. Vote in November or prepare to be fooled again.