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Iraq War: Analysis, introspection, reflections and counting the cost

On one level it seems odd that it has taken the 10-year anniversary, this week, of the attack on Iraq, for there to now to be all the questioning, introspection, reflections and counting the cost of what on any view must be seen to have been, at the very least, bad judgement.   Of course we also now that what propelled the war were lies - principally those as enunciated by George Bush and his little acolyte Tony Blair.

A selection of some of the commentary:

From Democracy Now:

"On the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we look at a massive new report by a team of 30 economists, anthropologists, political scientists, legal experts and physicians about the Iraq War’s impact. "The Costs of War" report found the total number of people who have died from the Iraq War, including soldiers, militants, police, contractors, journalists, humanitarian workers and Iraqi civilians, has reached at least 189,000 people, including at least 123,000 civilians. Financially, the report estimates a cost to U.S. taxpayers of $2.2 trillion, a figure that could one day approach $4 trillion with the interest accrued on the borrowed money used to fund the war."

From Medialens:

'Population of Iraq: 30 million.
'Percentage of Iraqis who lived in slum conditions in 2000: 17
'Percentage of Iraqis who live in slum conditions in 2011: 50
'Number of the 30 million Iraqis living below the poverty line: 7 million.
'Number of Iraqis who died of violence 2003-2011: 150,000 to 400,000.
'Orphans in Iraq: 4.5 million.
'Orphans living in the streets: 600,000.
'Number of women, mainly widows, who are primary breadwinners in family: 2 million.
'Iraqi refugees displaced by the American war to Syria: 1 million
'Internally displaced persons in Iraq: 1.3 million
'Proportion of displaced persons who have returned home since 2008: 1/8
'Rank of Iraq on Corruption Index among 182 countries: 175'


From AlJazeera:

"Contamination from Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions and other military-related pollution is suspected of causing a sharp rises in congenital birth defects, cancer cases, and other illnesses throughout much of Iraq.

Many prominent doctors and scientists contend that DU contamination is also connected to the recent emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs, and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukaemia, renal, and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.

There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah.

Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.

As shocking as these statistics are, due to a lack of adequate documentation, research, and reporting of cases, the actual rate of cancer and other diseases is likely to be much higher than even these figures suggest."


From Mother Jones:

"Ten years later, the Bush administration's projected price tag for the war in Iraq seems downright cute. According to the first-ever comprehensive count of the true toll of the combined wars, the estimate the administration used to sell the invasion in 2003 was about 100 times too low.
 

So what did that $6 trillion get us, exactly? Since we borrowed to pay for much of the war, we're facing nearing $4 trillion in cumulative interest between now and 2053, according to the 30 researchers who worked on the "Costs of War" report for Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.

To date, according to the report, medical and disability claims of US war veterans of Iraq have reached $84 billion; ongoing care for wounded Iraq war vets and their families is expected to require nearly $500 billion more over the next several decades. Homeland Security got $245 billion in additional funding thanks to increased threats of terror—real, imagined, and staged—over the last 10 years. On-the-ground operations alone ended up being 16 times more expensive than the Bush Cabinet's original estimate for the entire enterprise."

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