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Monday, August 23, 2010

Who "WON" in Iraq?

 Bernhard Zand writes in Spiegel Online International (Der Spiegel):

"On May 1, 2003, US President George W. Bush announced the end of combat operations in Iraq. This month, President Barack Obama will end the fight for a second time. But who won? Certainly not the Iraqis.

"It started with an ultimatum, with the arrogance of a man who not only commanded the world's largest military force, but also appeared to hold sway over time. "Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours," George W. Bush ordered on the evening of March 17, 2003. "Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing." This was in total disregard of the United Nations, whose Security Council has the sole legitimate authority to declare such a war. And for those allies who refused to take part, the US president had nothing but disdain.

"America chose the time of the attack, and also of the appropriate victory speech, which Bush gave six weeks later on board the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln: mission accomplished.

"What came afterwards -- the terror, the civil war, the 100,000 dead, the widows and the amputees and the tiny sliver of optimism that followed -- was no longer America's choice. It was the consequence of Bush's hubris and his disastrous blunders made right at the beginning of the occupation. Today these mistakes continue to plague Iraq. Today there is no end in sight to the war -- it is merely gradually slipping from our attention."

for more, see http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,713193,00.html#ref=nlint