The 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq was done on false pretenses (revisit this blog's "There was no good reason for the US to invade Iraq in 2003") and made Iraq a more dangerous place.
- "War was 'devastating to America' - and Iraq," Charles Davis, Al Jazeera, 6 Oct 2013
- "Renewed Violence in Iraq," Douglas A. Ollivant, Council on Foreign Relations, 9 August 2012
- "How the 2003 Iraq invasion devastated the country’s health service," Ahmed Aber, The Conversation, 6 July 2016
- "The US Destruction of Iraq: We Should Never Forget," William Blum, Foreign Policy Journal, Feb 5, 2016
- "Iraq war costs U.S. more than $2 trillion: study," Daniel Trotta, Reuters, 14 Mar 2013
History repeating itself?
Lawrence Wilkerson wrote for the New York Times on Feb. 5, 2018: "Fifteen years ago this week, Colin Powell, then the secretary of state, spoke at the United Nations to sell pre-emptive war with Iraq. As his chief of staff, I helped Secretary Powell paint a clear picture that war was the only choice..." It was a choice, he continued, "that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East."
Thus, when U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, in January 2018 presented U.S. intelligence information, specifically satellite images, to claim that Iran was not complying with restrictions on its military, Wilkerson believes "the evidence fell significantly short."
"It’s astonishing," he wrote, "how similar that moment was to Mr. Powell’s 2003 presentation on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction — and how the Trump administration’s methods overall match those of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. He noted that "war with Iran, a country of almost 80 million people whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain make it a far greater challenge than Iraq, would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs."
He concluded: "We’ve seen this before: a campaign built on the politicization of intelligence and shortsighted policy decisions to make the case for war. And the American people have apparently become so accustomed to executive branch warmongering — approved almost unanimously by the Congress — that such actions are not significantly contested."
Andrew Sullivan wrote for New York Magazine in March 2018:
The real possibility of a nuclear conflict with North Korea is getting more real by the day (can you imagine Bolton’s counsel for the Kim Jong-un meeting?); and with Bolton in place, the groundwork for ending the Iran nuclear deal is also finally complete. And what’s noticeable in all this is the irrelevance of the Senate. They refuse to reclaim their treaty-making powers with respect to trade (they could end Trump’s China shenanigans overnight); they have abdicated any influence on foreign policy and war just as they have done nothing to protect the special counsel. They are just like the Roman Senate as the republic collapsed. The forms survive; there is nothing of substance behind them.
When the U.S. detonates the Iran Nuclear Accord, the European alliance, in so far as it still staggers onward, will reach crisis point; and the Iranian regime will likely accelerate its nuclear weapons program. They’d be crazy not to. At which point, the path to war starts (or rather is very hard to stop).