Saturday, October 22, 2011
President Obama announced on Friday that the last American soldier will redeploy out of Iraq by the end of this year, ending the controversial eight year war that began in 2003 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks with former President George W. Bush’s “shock and awe” campaign to rid the country of “weapons of mass destruction.”
No such weapons were ever found and by all probability, never existed in the first place.
The war cost the lives of more than 4,400 U.S. troops, injured more than 30,000 American soldiers and according to UN sources, killed more than 1 million Iraqis, many were civilians. The financial cost of the Iraq war is at least $800 billion.
As expected, some military top American military officials were dismayed by the decision as were a number of Republican lawmakers like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who seemed to think the war in Iraq should go on into perpetuity.
The president’s herculean decision to end the war this year came as a surprise to me, as Mr. Obama, more than any president in modern memory, seems the least suited to oppose the Hawks in the Republican party and in the military.
But with job approval numbers in the high 30’s and a general election in a year, ending the enormously unpopular and costly war makes good political sense.