March 25, 2013

America's 33 Years Of Failure In Iraq

The year was 1980. America had just lost a key Middle Eastern ally in the Iranian Revolution. Read more:  

US officials and media began publicly to consider Iraq as a new top ally in the Persian Gulf.

Meanwhile Iranian calls for a Shia-coup in Iraq led to rising tensions and border skirmishes.

With Iran weakened and growing international support, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded his hated neighbor.

Despite widespread reports of Iraqi chemical weapons use, Reagan pulled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein off the list of known terrorists in 1982.

The U.S. began openly to support Iraq, through massive loans, military equipment, dual use chemical technology and training, and satellite intelligence on Iranian troop movements.

Iraq's use of chemical weapons "was not a matter of deep strategic concern" compared to U.S. fears that the Iranian revolution could spill into Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.

Nevertheless it became clear by 1986 that the two countries were stuck in a costly stalemate.

By the end of the war in 1988, Iraq owed at least $60 billion to Britain, America, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Kuwait.

In 1989, President George H.W. Bush signed National Security Directive 26 calling both Persian Gulf oil and a "stable" relationship with Iraq matters of national security.

America's ally, however, could not be controlled. In 1990, with reconstruction costs rising, Saddam invaded Kuwait, citing billions in stolen oil.

"This aggression will not stand," George H.W. Bush said. Soon, military operations were under way to push Saddam out of Kuwait.

America dubbed it "The Persian Gulf War" — the same name they gave to the Iran-Iraq War just ten years earlier.

U.S. troops successfully ousted Saddam from Kuwait, but pulled up short of invading Baghdad.

Bill Clinton took office in 1992 and in '94 extended crippling economic sanctions on Iraq, which led to death by starvation of up to 5,000 Iraqi children each month.

In 1995, the U.N. introduced the "Food for Oil" program, allowing Iraq to sell oil in the world market in exchange for food.

Two consecutive U.N. peace envoys, Hans Von Spok and Denis Halliday, resigned over the effect sanctions had on citizens.

In 1998, Bush wrote about not taking Baghdad: "We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed ... Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz committed to finding the "Iraq connection."

On March 2003, America and its "coalition of the willing" invaded Iraq. 

Three weeks later, George Bush claimed "Mission Accomplished."

Iraq "Viceroy" Paul Bremer pushed for the Iraqi debt to be forgiven, wiping out the $6 billion owed to tax payers. He also asked for immunity for Iraq's other debt, which had reached a total of $100 billion.

On July 24, 2004 the US Army Special Forces pulled Saddam out of a "spider hole." He would be executed in 30 months later.

But fighting was far from over. 2006 brought the height of the Iraqi insurgency, with 100 explosive devices detonated per day. By mid-2007, however, Sunni milities calling themselves the Sons of Iraq had turned the tide of the war.

When In 2011 Barack Obama failed to get a status of forces agreement passed, America was effectively kicked out Iraq.

Roughly 8 years of war had caused 190,000 direct war deaths, including more than 4,500 American service members.

In total, this war cost America $2.2 trillion, and possibly $6 trillion in future interest payments.

Two years later, on the day of the tenth anniversary, a car bomb killed 25. Sectarian violence is still a major issue.

But some Americans are doing well in Iraq. Exxon nailed down one of Iraq's largest oil fields in Qurna, while Halliburton and other U.S. companies dominated development subcontracts valued at $150 billion.


  1. Another Vietnam.......

  2. No oil fields in Vietnam.

  3. ??????? Vietnam is the 4th largest oil producer in SE Asia

  4. I was the fourth best linebacker on my 8th grade football team, does that makes me a great linebacker?