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Posts Tagged ‘War Wire’

Iraq War Cost $800 Billion, And What Do We Have To Show For It?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 19, 2013

By Joshua Hers and Chris Spurlock

For the past few months, a strange thing has been happening in the central Iraq town of Fallujah. Thousands of citizens, virtually all of them Sunni Muslims, have been gathering in public squares to protest the oppressive Shiite-led government in Baghdad. Sleeping in tents and wielding Twitter feeds and YouTube accounts, the young Sunnis have attempted to take democracy, and a certain sectarian disaffection, into their own hands.

It’s not quite the Iraqi Arab Spring — although that’s what it’s been tentatively called by some — but it is a reminder of the stark failure of nearly a decade of American-led warfare in that country.

When President George W. Bush announced the invasion into Iraq in March 2003, the goal was to remove a dangerous dictator and his supposed stocks of weapons of mass destruction. It was also to create a functioning democracy and thereby inspirewhat Bush called a “global democracy revolution.”

The effort was supposed to be cheap — to require few troops and even less time. Instead, it cost the United States $800 billion at least, thousands of lives and nearly nine grueling years (see the graphic below for a further breakdown of various costs). Read the rest of this entry »

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Iraq-Iran Ties Grow Stronger As Iraq Rises From The Ashes

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 15, 2012

Comment: Definitely politics always does not go in the direction as per driving force want:

 By Dan Froomkin
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Baghdad in 2008.

WASHINGTON — In the run-up to the war in Iraq, neoconservative hawks in and out of the Bush administration promised that the U.S. invasion would quickly transform that country into a strong ally, a model Arab democracy and a major oil producer that would lower world prices, even while paying for its own reconstruction.

“A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region,” President George W. Bush told a crowd at the American Enterprise Institute in 2003, a few weeks before he launched the attack.

Ten bloody and grueling years later, Iraq is finally emerging from its ruins and establishing itself as a geopolitical player in the Middle East — but not the way the neocons envisioned.

Though technically a democracy, Iraq’s floundering government has degenerated into a tottering quasi-dictatorship. The costs of the war (more than $800 billion) and reconstruction (more than $50 billion) have been staggeringly high. And while Iraq is finally producing oil at pre-war levels, it is trying its best to drive oil prices as high as possible.

Most disturbing to many American foreign policy experts, however, is Iraq’s extremely close relationship with Iran. Today, the country that was formerly Iran’s deadliest rival is its strongest ally. Read the rest of this entry »

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Unseen: Trailblazing Military Women Forced To Fight For Recognition, Equal Treatment

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 15, 2012

By Molly O’Toole

Marti Ribeiro
After a rocket-propelled grenade sent the Black Hawk helicopter tumbling out of the sky over Iraq, the medics got to work fast on the co-pilot, Capt. Duckworth. Standard operating procedure: cut away the desert-camo uniform before burnt fabric melds with burnt flesh. Get at the wounds. Stop the bleeding. Save what’s left.

When you show up at Walter Reed Medical Center in that kind of condition, you show up naked, with nothing except the hospital gown. So you’re given a “comfort kit,” a little backpack containing some toiletries and clothes. Duckworth awoke there around Thanksgiving 2004, a few weeks after the shootdown, to find a comfort kit waiting with slippers, a shaving kit and men’s jockey shorts.

She had to laugh.

“It was great. I don’t have feet, so I can’t wear the slippers, and you know, I just had my legs blown off, it’s not like I’m gonna shave my legs any time soon,” she chuckles. “I don’t have jockey, I’m not gonna wear men’s jockey shorts.”

Tammy Duckworth had just become the first female double amputee from Iraq, losing one leg above the knee and one below, but she had been a woman for a while already.

“They just had kits for men,” Duckworth says. “It never occurred to them to make kits for women.” Read the rest of this entry »

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