Counting the costs of the Iraq war

Bush administration spokesmen said the invasion of Iraq was going to be a cakewalk, and the cost would be paid out of Iraq oil revenues.  Ten years later, we know the true costs.



Click to enlarge.

For details, click on The Iraq War Ledger by the Center for American Progress.

Also click on Invading Iraq: What We Were Told at the Time by James Fallows of The Atlantic Monthly.

[Later].  To be clear, the first sentence in this post was a paraphrase, not a direct quote.

Kenneth Adelman, a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Advisory Board, wrote a column for the Washington Post on Feb. 13, 2002, entitled “Cakewalk in Iraq” in which he said “I believe demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.”

Many Pentagon spokesman stated that the reconstruction of Iraq (not the war itself) could be paid out of Iraq oil revenues and other Iraqi assets.  For example, Richard Perle, chair of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, said on July 11, 2002, “Iraq is a very wealthy country.  Enormous oil reserves.  They can finance, largely finance the reconstruction of their own country.  And I have no doubt they will.”

Click on The Iraq War in Quotes and The Experts Speak on Iraq for more.

[Still Later]


Click to enlarge.

[Added 3/22/13]  Click on Bush Lowballed Us on Iraq by $7 Trillion for details from Mother Jones.

The monetary cost would have been worth it if the result of the Iraq war would have been a better life for the Iraqi people.  While they were freed from the tyrant Saddam Hussein, it was at the cost of more than a hundred thousand deaths, more than a million (mainly Christian) refugees, the destruction of the nation’s physical infrastructure, the unleashing of sectarian conflict.  If such had been the result of Soviet intervention into a country, we Americans would rightly condemn it.

I honor the patriotism of the 2 million Americans who have served in Iraq.  They are not responsible for the disaster.  They did not send themselves.  The sacrifice of the Americans who died in Iraq will not be made meaningful by continuing or justifying a failed policy.  The best way to respect American men and women in uniform is to not send them to war for bad reasons.

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2 Responses to “Counting the costs of the Iraq war”

  1. zahidhkhalid Says:

    Dear Mr. Phil Ebersole,

    My compliment to your posts. I have share it with viewers on my CNN iRport page.

    I am pleased to share two stories by Mr. Phil Ebersole without any comment.

    This is what Obama said in October 2002 when he was a Senator:

    “I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.”

    “I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.”

    This is what the spokesman of Bush said:

    “The invasion of Iraq was going to be a cakewalk, and the cost would be paid out of Iraq oil revenues.”

    And now look at:

    The Iraq War Ledger (2013 Update)
    A Look at the War’s Human, Financial, and Strategic Costs

    After reading all this is anything left to say?

    The answer is there nothing more precious than a human life. Cost of war is of no importance.


    After all they are all human beings and belong to the same family as sons and daughters of Adam and Eve.

    I wish and pray that we try to understand and always keep that in mind for making the world a better place to live!


    Shared with thanks to Mr. Phil Ebersole:


  2. e_legs Says:

    Great stuff, thanks for those quotes above as well.


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