March 19 this past week marked the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq originally named Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) later changed to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Just to note some of the “Shock and Awe” for our $3 trillion to $5 trillion dollar investment: 4,489 dead U.S. soldiers, 32,220 U.S. wounded. This does not include dead or wounded U.S. civilians or private contractors nor the 300,000 plus brain injury and PTSD cases.
On the Iraqi side: 1.4 million dead, 4.2 million injured and 4.5 million refugees out of a population of 24 million people. Cancer and birth defects are skyrocketing due to our use of munitions made with the toxic component depleted uranium.
I often wondered over the past 10 years what the $10 billion per month we were borrowing from other countries such as China to execute a war of choice would do for us at home concerning infrastructure, schools and health care. Sadly we will never know.
The architects of this war still say it was worth every dollar and drop of blood to overthrow Saddam Hussein, who was of little threat to his neighbors, and no threat to the U.S. George W. Bush said Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 and Dick Cheney says he would do it all over again. Of course, neither Bush nor Cheney ever has or ever will experience real war. It’s no wonder active duty soldiers are killing themselves at a rate of one per day and veterans are killing themselves at 20 per day according the the Department of Defense. Shock and Awe indeed.