By Patrick J. Buchanan –

Six months before the invasion of Iraq, Taki Theodoracopulos, Scott McConnell and this writer launched a new magazine, The American Conservative. Goal: Convince our countrymen that invading Iraq would be imperial folly.

In the first column, in mid-September 2002, I wrote:

“If Providence does not intrude, we will soon launch an imperial war on Iraq with all the ‘On-to-Berlin!’ bravado with which French poilus and British Tommies marched in August 1914. But this invasion will not be the cakewalk neoconservatives predict. …

“(For) what comes after the celebratory gunfire when wicked Saddam is dead? …

“With our MacArthur Regency in Baghdad, Pax Americana will reach apogee. But then the tide recedes, for the one endeavor at which Islamic peoples excel is expelling imperial powers by terror and guerrilla war. They drove the Brits out of Palestine and Aden, the French out of Algeria, the Russians out of Afghanistan, the Americans out of Somalia and Beirut, the Israelis out of Lebanon. …

“The only lesson we learn from history is that we do not learn from history.”

And so it came to pass. And as 90 months of war in Iraq come to an end for America, what was won? And what was lost?

To stampede us into war, the neocons told us that Saddam was tied to al-Qaeda and had a role in 9/11, that he had VX gas, botulism, mustard gas, sarin and anthrax, and was acquiring nuclear weapons. What further proof must you have, demanded Condi Rice, “a mushroom cloud over an American city”?

The truth. Saddam had no tie to al Qaeda, no role in 9/11, no chemical weapons, no biological weapons, no nuclear program.

We attacked a nation that did not attack us, did not threaten us and did not want war with us — to strip it of weapons it did not have.

We were misled. We were deceived. We were lied to.

The cost: 4,400 dead, 35,000 wounded, $700 billion sunk.

“Much has changed since that night” we marched into Iraq, said President Obama. “A war to disarm a state became a fight against an insurgency. Terrorism and sectarian warfare threatened to tear Iraq apart. Thousands of Americans gave their lives. Tens of thousands have been wounded. Our relations abroad were strained. Our unity at home was tested.”

Estimates of Iraqi war dead run from 70,000 to 100,000, which means hundreds of thousands of Iraqi widows and orphans. Christians have seen priests murdered, churches burned and half their number driven into exile. Four million Iraqis have left or lost their homes. Two million are in exile, as Baghdad has been cleansed of Sunnis. Al Qaeda was not in Iraq under Saddam. It is there now.

“Time to turn the page,” said President Obama.

How does Iraq turn the page, as we retreat to secure bases and prepare to bring home the last 50,000 troops?

Terrorism has returned. Iraq’s casualties are back up to where they were before the U.S. surge. Electricity is off much of the time. Six months after elections, no government exists. The Iraqi dead, wounded, widowed, orphaned, homeless and exiled are surely not better off.

What about those we leave behind? What happens to Iraqis who worked with us when we leave? How did our Vietnamese friends fare? What kind of future will Iraqis have, if civil and sectarian war return?

That our soldiers, Marines, diplomats and aid workers did their jobs bravely and honorably is understood by their countrymen — and attested to by the fact the U.S. military is the most respected of our institutions.

But was the war worth it? Some 72 percent of Americans said in a recent CBS poll that it was not worth the price in U.S. war dead.

What does the secretary of defense think?

“It really requires a historian’s perspective in terms of what happens here in the long run,” says Robert Gates. “How it all weighs in the balance over time remains to be seen.” A seven-year war, and our minister of defense cannot declare that it was all worth it.

But if America is not a certain winner from this war, who is?

Iran saw its great enemy Saddam removed and its Shia allies come to power in Baghdad. Osama bin Laden saw America bled by wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and perhaps Iran, as al-Qaeda has spread to Yemen, Somalia and North Africa.

And as America was tied down in the Long War, China emerged as the world’s No. 1 auto producer, No. 1 manufacturer, No. 1 exporter and No. 2 economy.

Meanwhile, the Washington Times reports,

“The federal government has posted signs along a major interstate highway in Arizona, more than 100 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, warning travelers the area is unsafe because of drug and alien smugglers, and a local sheriff says Mexican drug cartels now control some parts of the state.”

What does it profit America if we save Anbar and lose Arizona?

Source: http://www.amconmag.com/blog/2010/09/03/was-iraq-worth-it/

Patrick Buchanan is the author, most recently, of Churchill, Hitler, and ‘The Unnecessary War,’ now available in paperback. COPYRIGHT 2010 Creators.com.

Also See:

Neocons Hope Israel Will Start a Fire the U.S. Will Be Forced to Put Out


  1. James Morris on the 06. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    Non-Neoconned Ron Paul’s statement: “Iraq – An End or an Escalation?”


    The A Clean Break/War for Israel agenda:


    Fragmentation of Iraq Was Israel’s Strategy (by Dr. Stephen Sniegoski)



  2. Rehmat on the 07. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    In 2003, Lebanon-born Fouad Ajami, listed as an ‘Author’ in Israel Hasbara Committee – wrote in Foreign Affairs that America’s unilateral war on Iraq will bring modernization to the Middle Eastern countries and thus, security to Israel. After seven years, the reality on ground shows that he lied from both sides of his mouth – an so did Dubya Bush who proclaimed “Mission Accomplished” on board USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003. At that time, Bush also claimed that Saddam Hussein had links with Al-Qaeda and that he was behind 9/11. None of which has been proved so far.

    Now, after seven year, another US President, Ben Obama, had lied by asserting that he is pulling 50,000 ‘combatant soldiers’ out of Iraq, while keeping the remaining 50,000 ‘non-combatant soldiers’ to stay put in Iraq to carry-on Fouad Ajami’s prediction – the security of Israel.

    The loser in this war (like wars in Afghanistan and Lebanon) is mainly the Iraqis and the Americans.

    Let us count some of the losses during the last seven years of Iraqi adventure for Israel.

    1. More than 6,000 American killed and over 100,000 wounded. Iraq has lost over one million people since the Washington’s wars begining in the 1990s.

    2. Iraq war has already cost to taxpayers over US$745 billion and expected to reach one trillion dollars soon.

    3. America has lost its credibility within the Middle East countries. This was told to Benji Netanyahu last year by both Mullen and Joe Biden. The vacuum has been filled by Iran, Turkey and Syria. Ahmadinejad, Sheikh Nasrallah and Erdogan have become the most popular Muslim leaders among the Arabs.

    Israel in the meantime has attacked Lebanon, Gaza and Turkish vessels – but fears more for its survival than post-Iraq War. Now, it’s pushing Ben Obama to start new wars in Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan and Iran for Israel’s survival.

    Let us not forget, the ‘Israel-First’ Jew in Pentagon, Paul Wolfowitz, who told Dubya Bush that “Iraq War will pay for itself”. John Bolton, the ‘half-Jewish’ neocon repeated the same line in 2006. According to Brain Hicks, author of ‘Profit from the Peak’ revealed in 2008 that US forces in Iraq are costing US$923 million per week on fuel consumption alone.

    Lately, many of the neocons (mostly Jewish) are blaming the Islamic Republic for the Washington’s failure in Iraq. Israeli poodle,General Petraeus told ‘Israel-Firster’ Senator Joe Leiberman during a Senate testimony on April 8-9, 2008 that Iran is behind the murder of hundreds of US soldiers and NOT Israelis in Iraq.

    Just imagine what it would cost American taxpayers if their leaders decide to repeat their mistakes in October 2001 and March 2003 in Islamic Iran to please the Israel Lobby.


  3. Earlaiman on the 07. Sep, 2010 remarked #

    Seven years ago, while cruising on my boat in Thailand, my wife and I watched, shocked and surprised, the invasion of Iraq, brought to us by CNN, on a small telly high in the corner of a small Thai food shop, operated by a small Muslim lady in a small Island village, miles beyond nowhere in the Andaman Sea.

    I was, frankly, shocked that anyone could be so stupid as to do such a thing as invade Iraq, and I was stunned into insensibility and simply could not respond intelligently to such a completely insane act other than to write in my journal before we turned in for the night….

    “We bathe, feed the cat, feed ourselves and settle in for what may be the last peaceful night the world will see in a long, long time! Insanity!”

    The following morning, after a good night’s sleep I arose more collected, concerned, and wrote in my Journal….

    “March 21, 2003, Friday

    The BBC World Service has no good news this morning. Instead they run a program on the history of what was Iraq. Apparently a people and a region regarded as the origin of modern man. A once glorious and flourishing nation whose culture and resources had long been devastated and destroyed by war, exploitation and bad leadership long before the Bushes appeared on the scene. Why has Allah blessed the Islamic nations with most of the oil in the world? An old Irishman once supposedly warned, “Be careful what blessings ye pray for, He may grant them!” John’s blessing, Marsha’s curse!

    The BBC and the British Parliament pray for the “Welfare and safety” of the ‘coalition’ troops, who are entering Iraq this morning. They make no mention of prayers for the people who live there and through whose houses the tanks will drive on their way to Baghdad.
    There is concern for the “WMD” which the inspectors failed to find. Well, if there are any there, nothing will bring them out quicker than a few hundred armed and dangerous men invading the country. I am sure George Bush will find them! It is simply good politics, and an essential “…see, I told you so….” If there are none there to be found, someone will have to bring a few along. I am sure the father has told the son which labels they should bear, to compare exactly with those items on the inventory of past shipments, which he has given him.

    It is quite clear; this is not a war against Islam. That is a false charge levied by shortsighted Islamist fanatics who see the problem as encompassing or affecting only their own small interests and corner of the neighborhood. It is much greater than that. It is a war for control of oil, worldwide energy resources, and a few million Muslims seem to stand in the way. They will simply have to be moved aside, or rolled over….

    Control of those resources will make those who control them the most powerful in the world. It is time for other countries with large oil resources to pay attention and take a lesson from current events; there is a long list of yet unconquered, uncontrolled oil-bearing nations.
    When they ultimately control all the energy in the world, they can then dictate peace, on whatever terms they will, to the entire world, take it or leave it! There will be no one with the power to oppose them on a national basis. A true World Power! Pax Americana! They will be mightier than Rome had ever hoped to be!

    What then goes on at night and in the dark alleys will be something of a different matter. Perhaps we will then learn what true terrorism really is…no citizen of the coalition will be safe anywhere. But that is what they fail to see, and what we shall have to wait and see…. Oh, well…, in the meanwhile, the bullshit flows, and flows, and the Capitol Centers of the World fill with it….
    We get ready to go somewhere. We shall have to look at the chart and decide.”

    How prophetic! I take no pride in being right, or in “…I told you so….” Too many of my brothers on both sides of this debacle have died. Too many of their wives and children have been slaughtered. And, two great Nations have been plundered and destroyed.

    Pyrrhus would have been proud of this one. Perhaps he would say… “We’ve been Bushwhacked!”


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