Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Postmortem on the Iraq War

"War waged without a clear mandate from the United Nations Security Council would constitute a flagrant violation of the prohibition of the use of force. We note with deep dismay that a small number of states are poised to launch an outright illegal invasion of Iraq, which amounts to a war of aggression."

International Commission of Jurists, 2002

"Today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over."

President Barack Obama, October 21, 2011

President Obama announced on October 21 that the U.S. would be withdrawing all but a handful of troops from Iraq at the end of the year. Despite taking credit in his brief speech for a new war strategy in Iraq following his election, Obama also reminded us that President Bush set the troop withdrawal deadline back in 2008. So the withdrawal deadline was not new, nor was it a surprise.

Obama put a positive spin on the war itself and its end. It would be hard for a sitting president, as Commander in Chief, to criticize the war itself as unjust and not worth the loss in life and treasure, particularly considering the harm our actions have wrought in Iraq. Candidate Obama did say as much, however, in 2007: “I am proud of the fact that way back in 2002, I said that this war was a mistake.”

Read the rest here.

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