News24

Iraq war cost $1 trillion

2011-12-14 22:20

Fort Bragg - US President Barack Obama welcomed home some of the last US troops from Iraq on Wednesday, marking a symbolic end to the nearly nine-year war that strained America's armed forces and inflicted lasting damage to its standing worldwide.

Addressing soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of the 82nd Airborne Division, Obama said he wanted to mark "a historic moment in the life of our country and our military".

"As your commander in chief and on behalf of a grateful nation, I'm proud to finally say these two words - welcome home, welcome home, welcome home," he told thousands of troops gathered in an airplane hangar, who erupted in cheers.

The war killed 4 500 US troops and at least 60 000 Iraqis. Obama said on Tuesday the war would cost more than $1 trillion all told.

Ending the Iraq war fulfils a promise that helped Obama win the presidency in 2008 and allows the White House to focus more on Afghanistan as well as economic worries at home, where the high jobless rate is a major concern for voters.

Critics

But as the last American forces pack up and leave Iraq this month, the debate over Obama's exit strategy remains heated.

Critics have accused Obama of ending the war hastily to suit his re-election campaign, warning the pullout could embolden still-active insurgent fighters as well as Iraq's neighbour Iran.

Mitt Romney, a leading Republican contender for the 2012 presidential race, said in an open letter to Obama on Wednesday that "words of welcome to our returning soldiers is not enough" and called it "a disgrace" that veterans of the Iraq war are facing unemployment above 11%, several points higher than the national rate.

And John McCain, who ran against Obama for the presidency in 2008, said this week he found it "a bit presumptuous" for Obama to take credit for the conflict he was opposed to and was set to respond to what he called the president's "victory lap" in Fort Bragg later on Wednesday.

As of this week, there were about 5 500 US troops left in Iraq, down from more than 170 000 at the height of the war.

Obama owes his presidency in part to his opposition to the Iraq war, which grew hugely unpopular as the Bush administration wore on and claims that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction and supporting al-Qaeda militants turned out to be false.

As an Illinois state legislator, Obama gave a stirring speech in 2002 warning that invading Iraq would plunge the US into a "dumb war" and he used his anti-war stance to distinguish himself in the Democratic presidential run-off from Hillary Clinton who voted in Congress to go to war in Iraq.

In office, Obama moved quickly to scale back what his aides had dubbed "Bush's war" and to shift the Pentagon's focus to Afghanistan and its border with Pakistan, which he called the neglected battleground in the fight against al-Qaeda.

Commentators now see that conflict as "Obama's war" and believe his presidency will be judged more on the outcomes of the Afghan campaign than on developments in Iraq.

Comments
  • Muhammed - 2011-12-14 23:12

    Camel Oh Camel, which part of your back is straight?

      Jaba - 2011-12-15 08:13

      finish the sentence: Iraq war cost $1 trillion, created 13 million US Jobs, freed a population of 32 million Iraqis from the evil clutches of a mad dictator, all while a new evil was born in Iraq - Islamic terrorist who took the lives of over a million Iraqi civilians. Muslim on Muslim violence is something I could never comprehend.

  • Johncarlos ? Biza - 2011-12-14 23:17

    Needy American citizens were as much a victim as the Iraqis. Read the book Confessions Of An Economic Hitman

      Fidel - 2011-12-15 00:28

      John Perkins, a good read indeed.

  • Ibhubesi - 2011-12-14 23:28

    If they are not at war somewhere, they will not be happy. You've read it on here, there were weapons of mass destruction that kept them in Iraq for 9 years? The problem with Americans are, they think the whole world is as dumb as the average American. They think they can spin all of us around the globe all this rubbish and we just buy it. Why has it taken him 3 years to withdraw from Iraq? 60,000 Iraqis dead? For oil? America is the most destructive nation on this planet. Pity our neighbours don't have oil. If they had, we would have saved a lot of tax payers a lot of money feeding Mugabe's people.

      Merven - 2011-12-15 09:10

      What bollocks, have you seen how many innocent people Hussain murdered? It had to be done. 'The problem with Americans are, they think the whole world is as dumb as the average American' comming from somebody that supports the ANC?

      Marc - 2011-12-15 09:20

      @merven - put your bollocks in your mouth. you know how many innocent people the american govt murders in cia led coups and their influence throughout the globe? and when did ibhubesi say he supports the ANC? idiot

      nicholas.wessels - 2011-12-15 10:02

      Its amazing to me that people have this misconception that Americans are in general "dumb". Do you think it is a coincidence that you are using a computer, either PC or Mac, both developed in the USA to type this message? That you most likely use Facebook or Twitter daily, both sites designed and developed in the USA? In fact, your life is dominated daily by medical, scientific and technological inventions and discoveries that we can thank the Americans for. Secondly, why is is that Africa and the rest of the world run crying with their hands out to America for aid, food and financial support when we cannot feed ourselves but the Americans can? They are pretty dumb, aren't they.

      Marc - 2011-12-15 10:18

      @nicholas - unfortunately you have very little understanding of the dynamics of the world and america's involvement in it. america as been a hub for business and innovation for years because it was seen as the land of opportunity that immigrants flocked to from all over the world - those same immigrants are now shat on by american people and america is no longer the land of opportunity , but a bully throughout the world using military force to manipulate governments and appease corporate interests. the fact that africans and other poor countries need food aid and assistance has less to do with america being a country of winners (you idiot) and more to do , with poorer countries being economically colonized and raped for their resources while their people work for slave labor wages. having lived in america for 10 years i can personally tell you that there is a huge population of mind numbingly ignorant people there, brainwashed by the media and too engrossed in consumerism to realize their country is taking advantage of their ignorance. read a book son.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-15 10:49

      @Merven. I might just be your next MP, but you wouldn't like that would you, because I'm black. From some of your other comments I have gathered you think every black person in this country votes ANC. Fix your attitude and then you and I may be able to make this a better place for both of us. @Marc. Thanks Brother. @Nicholas. You should go live in America for a few months and see America for it really is. You will be horrified. All of this technology you speak about? I was in Los Angeles at a conference and asked an American why, if they are so inventive with computers, don't they manufacture the technology and create jobs for Americans. They were creating jobs for the Chinese. His reply to me was, America is the brain of the world. Enough said.

      Fidel - 2011-12-15 11:56

      Nicholas still believes in American exceptionalism, he hasn't read Chomsky.

      Blade - 2011-12-15 14:17

      I have 2 wishes. One is that America had a decent all-powerfull military and two that they would use that military to cleanse the entire African continent.

      Fidel - 2011-12-15 14:23

      A genocidal maniac. Killing a lot of people just to supress their development must make up many of your dreams.

  • Saksak Motsepe - 2011-12-14 23:42

    hahahaha, foolish americans. They should've just bought the oil and saved themselves hundreds of billions. Now they have create even more enemies. Ah, money creates enemies or is the use of it?

      Fidel - 2011-12-15 00:37

      Look at it this way, all those corporations that donate billions of dollars in US presidential and congressional elections have recouped their investments through defence contracts. Saw the other day that the US army hires private companies to do the laundry of its soldiers for billions of dollars. War is a Racket, and the US will always manufacture enemies in order to be in a perpetual state of war. The US needs to be waging war continuously. Its war machine demands it, the war profiteers impose it; it is the only major industry it has not farmed out. Warmongering nations like America, Britain, France, etc, have armament industries that need to be working flat out! Warmongering nations need to gain control of scarce resources so as to stop competitors like China and India becoming a military threat. Warmongering nations need armies to keep their own citizens in line and expand their imperialism.

      Juan - 2011-12-15 06:30

      It's better to fight the enemy on their soil than fighting them on your own

      Fidel - 2011-12-15 07:54

      People all over the world throughout history have always resisted Imperialism. If you create a whole industry on war what way of life are you going to promote? One based on domination, rule, and war.

      Merven - 2011-12-15 09:13

      @Fidel, sounds like the ANC you're describing, they are just based on domination, rule and plain out murder.

      Fidel - 2011-12-15 09:33

      @Merven Your view of reality must be warped from comedy central, which is comedy.

  • Joseph - 2011-12-15 02:54

    Costs of unplanned or greedy driven wars.How much did it costs Nato to remove Gadaffi.

      ray.cornelissen - 2011-12-15 09:40

      This was definitely planned. It's all about money and power. Everyday we're implanted with fear, we fear everything and that's how the governments control and gain profits from US.

  • RA - 2011-12-15 05:59

    1 trillion to kill thousands of innocent people. cud hav rather given me the money, wud have used it more wisely... n just rememba US, karma comes back x100.. so b rdy

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-12-15 07:10

    You will still make more on oil from construction and Iraqi-Libyan oil. All what you do creates more enemies and if another World War breaks out you will find yourself strategically isolated.

      Merven - 2011-12-15 09:21

      You guys must read the book: The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Then you will understand war better. One of the most important rules of war is: find a source of income to finance your war within the enemy (oil, diamonds etc), then the general public will be more tolerant to the war. The old SA made that mistake in Angola as well as America with Vietnam, and they lost the war on that grounds, it don't help you win battles but can not finance the war. You can not fight a two wars (a physical one on a foreign front and one political one on home soil). Look at WW2. The first thing Hitler did, was to invade industrial strong countries to strengthen his military unit building capabilities.

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-12-15 07:11

    You will still make more on oil from construction and Iraqi-Libyan oil. All what you do creates more enemies and if another World War breaks out you will find yourself strategically isolated.

  • Derek - 2011-12-15 07:28

    When is the world going to hold America responsible for this outrageous crime against humanity?

      Braam - 2011-12-15 07:50

      never never never never nevenenrbevenereveenevereneverevenere get it NEVER

      Fidel - 2011-12-15 07:51

      Britain is the weak link in the US hegemony. Without UK endorsement to give them a figleaf i.e. Iraq , US cannot subvert international law. If the world has a problem then it originates in Washington. But the road to fulfilling Washington's plans lies via London....

  • Jaba - 2011-12-15 08:40

    Did Iraq not attack & invade the sovereign state of Kuwait??? So many people seem to have short memories and have been brainwashed by the fanatic’s propaganda machine. look at it this way, when China becomes superpower in around fifteen years time and if the same case study occurs where Iraq invaded Kuwait – let just say that that 20 years later, Kuwait would be jut a distant memory only written about in History books. We might not like what the USA does, but the fact remains, I am able to express my ideas on this South African website due to the fact that currently the Super Power is democratic. Rather the devil you know…

      faerrab - 2011-12-15 09:18

      Watch a a doumnetary called Superpower - a US Airforce General interviewed stated that she resigned from the US Ariforce due to the lies - there were no IRAQI tanks or soldiers invading Kuwait

      Merven - 2011-12-15 09:29

      And also mention the chemical weapons that Hussain tested on his Kurdish neighbours in the 90's. Also bearing in mind that more than 50 of the world's most wanted terrorists where killed and founded in Iraq clearly indicate that Iraq was everything than innocent.

      Fidel - 2011-12-15 09:29

      President John Adams: "Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws." @Faerrab Saw that on Dstv, an eye opener indeed. The fact that America is the sole superpower doesn't make them anyone's leader apart from the American people. Imperialism is a cancer. Imperialism is terrorism but the rulers can't only sell the terror. It takes LIES and lies and lies, perpetual lying, all along with the violence.

  • Humble - 2011-12-15 09:15

    might have cost them $1trillion, but how much are they going to make from the oil fields that they "havent taken control of"...

  • ray.cornelissen - 2011-12-15 09:37

    Watch "Zeitgeist - Remastered Edition" and see what this war and any other before it is actually about.

      ray.cornelissen - 2011-12-15 09:48

      The war didn't cost the state a cent, every American paid for it without even knowing it. Just Google "9/11 Conspiracy" - you'll find that everything is indeed not what you thought it was. We are blinded by the media, and accept what we read in the newspapers and see on the television way too easily. Are you afraid of the truth? If you are not, you should be.

  • Fidel - 2011-12-15 09:46

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. President D. Eisenhower in his farewell speech.

      Blade - 2011-12-15 14:12

      How many peaceful, democratic countries has the US invaded?

      Fidel - 2011-12-15 14:27

      I'm under no obligation to educate you. Look it up.

  • Tebogo - 2011-12-15 10:59

    1 trillion of taxpayers money that ended up in the pockets of contractors, arms dealers and manufacturers. Someone made money out of the war and thats always been the objective and not what we were told was.

  • Blade - 2011-12-15 14:14

    What a waste. The Yanks dont make good soldiers though. The old SADF would have sorted Iraq out in double quick time at a fraction of the cost.

      Fidel - 2011-12-15 14:26

      The same sadf that left Angola with their tails between their legs. The same sadf that couldn't defeat rag-tag guerillas in Namibia.

      Blade - 2011-12-15 15:11

      @Fidel they defeated them. The blacks are still crying about it. Over and over they whine about it.

  • Michael - 2011-12-18 09:01

    Wrong Jaba, finish this sentence... you could have just given each and every American soldier $625000 instead of going to war... 1.6mil served... the $1 trillion was wasted hands down, oh and no one would have died.

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