web analytics

Iraq war a “success”

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, December 16th, 2011 - 36 comments
Categories: iraq, us politics - Tags: ,

Not with a bang but a whimper. On Wednesday President Obama marked the end of the war in Iraq:

Barack Obama declares Iraq war a success

President told an audience of soldiers at Fort Bragg that the final pullout after nearly nine years of conflict is an ‘historic’ moment

Barack Obama marked an end to a war he once described as “dumb” by declaring the conflict in Iraq a success and saying the last US troops will leave in the coming days with their “heads held high”.

The president told an audience of soldiers at Fort Bragg that the final pullout from Iraq after nearly nine years of war is an “historic” moment and that the country they leave behind is “an extraordinary achievement”. … But the president, who came to power promising to end the war, said that for all the suffering, the result was success.

“We knew this day would come. We’ve known it for some time. But still there is something profound about the end of a war that has lasted so long,” said Obama. “It’s harder to end a war than begin one. Everything that American troops have done in Iraq – all the fighting, all the dying, the bleeding and the building and the training and the partnering, all of it has landed to this moment of success.” …

“Iraq’s not a perfect place. It has many challenges ahead. But we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self reliant Iraq with a representative government that was elected by its people. We’re building a new partnership between our nations and we are ending a war not with a final battle but with a final march toward home. This is an extraordinary achievement,” he said.

That interpretation is strongly disputed by critics of the way who say the conflict has destabilised the region, strengthened Iran and exposed US military shortcomings which may encourage future conflict. It is also claimed by critics that the war has strengthened hostility to the US and fueled not deterred terrorism.

This was a war waged on lies. It has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths, and the death of over 4,000 American soldiers. It has left Iraq poisoned by depleted uranium and other toxins. The cost to America is estimated at $1 trillion – “an expense that has contributed significantly to America’s economic decline”. And for what? A shameful chapter.

36 comments on “Iraq war a “success””

  1. Roy 1

    Iraq is anything but stable. The average Iraqi was far better off under Saddam Hussein, nasty bastard that he was. Obama is lying through his teeth, and he knows it.

    • Vicky32 1.1

      The average Iraqi was far better off under Saddam Hussein, nasty bastard that he was.

      That’s true, although I’ve found that if you say that, people think you’re a supporter of Saddam Hussein!
      A ‘success’, hey? In what way, exactly?

    • millsy 1.2

      Roy is somewhat correct. Iraqis had very high living standards under the reign of Saddam and his predessors, and women could walk though the streets of Baghdad in western clothing on the way to university (same with Afghanistan up to 1979).

      Though I would imagine that the best jobs, houses, uni places, etc would have been reserved for members and officials of the ruling party, as is always the case in such countries.

  2. ianmac 2

    As a politician I suppose he can’t say that the war was a disaster. He can’t say that 4,000 American lives, 100s of thousands of Iraqi lives and lifelong trauma for all parties, was anything but noble. That would be to admit catastrophic error and Americans do not make mistakes.

  3. queenstfarmer 3

    Based only on the reported quotes, I’m don’t think the Guardian’s headline is fair. He is not saying “the conflict was a success”. I credit him with considerably more intelligence than that. He appears to be referring to the “success” of the withdrawl, ie being able to carry out an orderly withdrawal in non-combat conditions.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      lol, the retreat was a success

      • queenstfarmer 3.1.1

        Well that is about the best spin he can put on it. And some of the great military moments do involve retreats, or “strategic withdrawals”. Dunkirk and the successful ANZAC evacuation from Greece come to mind.

        • McFlock 3.1.1.1

          True enough.

          But sadly, this ain’t one of ’em. Although it is a marginal improvement on Nixon’s “peace with honour”.

  4. [deleted]

    [lprent: Not even links damnit!.

    I’m adding you to auto-spam and will be trashing all your comments until they stop looking like comment spam. Stop being so damn lazy and in love with paste functions. Start editing them to something acceptable for the site – you have been told before.

    BTW: Arguing or doing any of the usual activist support tricks will simply result in wholesale permanent bannings. I’m sick to death of these cut’n’paste. You either clean up your act or you’re out. Are you quite clear on the choices? ]

  5. Bored 5

    Hoorah, we won!!!!!!!!! (Posted on behalf of Haliburton, Bechtel, and the oil companies).

    PS RIP all those US jarheads and Iraqis whose lifes contributed to the corporate profits.

    • Gosman 5.1

      This should actually put paid to all those Blood for Oil mantras lefties used to parrot on a regular basis. Given the fact that it was the Iraqi government that requested the US leave and the US complied when they didn’t want to leave completely how can it be stated that the Oil is somehow under the control of the US corporations?

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        seriously?

        Have all the contracts authorised by the US provincial governor and the favoured Iraqi leadership expired yet?

      • Bored 5.1.2

        More fairy tales Gos,always the left to blame….this “lefty” Sadam…you know the right wing dictator favoured for years by the West and the oil companies, got a bit uppity….had to get rid of him said some other righties (George Bush and crew), so 000s deaths later, voila, Sadam dead, puppet government installed, gee whizz, you can go now say the Iraqi puppets, we will honour corporate oil contracts because we dont want the jarheads back…..

        Where were the lefties Gos? You are so full of shit.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    The attack on Iraq. A bleak twist on the old “unfortunately the patient died, but the operation was a great success” and we know who for.

  7. Spratwax 7

    Barack Obama- liar and hypocrate…. yes, he’s a politician.

  8. He’s their Commander in Chief – he can hardly get up there and tell them they’ve been risking their lives for a war crime, even if that’s exactly what they’ve been doing. Same principle on which the Brits put up a statue of Bomber Harris: admit the truth of the matter publicly and you open a big can of worms to no good purpose.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Although true, I think the men and women who have been serving on the ground know the best out of anyone what has been going on in reality as opposed to in Faux News world.

  9. RobertM 9

    Although the left would not see it that way, in part the ground war in Iraq and Afghanistan was and is an extension of the whole peacemaking , peacekeeping strategy wanted by the left the Helen Clark, Petra Kelly’s and Hagers and Hackwells.
    The move to rely on armies as the basis of western defence and to move back to ground intervention was disastorous.
    Most of the historical writing and books on NZ defence and indeed academic studies overwhelmingly concentrate on the NZ Army and generally only cover the RNZN and RNZAF with cynicism and contempt. This is a distortion because in the period of Anzus and Anzuk, New Zealands real contribution was Royalist, Type 12 and Leander frigates and the Canberra’s and Orions. NZ’s Army was always too small to be viable or relevant while in the 1950 to 1980 the Navy and AirForce was largely compatible with the standard of major second line US, UK, Aus and Canadian units.
    Essentially my view of Iraq and Afghanistan is that there should have been no ground intervention and they should have been hit only by bomber and tomahawks. Useful future defence of Western interests will mainly be by air, sea and briefly landed elite marines in my view. I believe this is the useful way to develop NZ’s military with a serious Orion replacements and High Endurance corvettes and OPVs carrying NH90s and small SAS units.
    Modern western armies are too unintelligent and based on male tribal prole pact loyalty to be effective pacification, destruction and elimination units. They are loyal to themselves and their prole class and male interest not to the West or western aims. The dumbing down of the military and its proletarisation of its its units is part of the decline of the west. Elite praetorian guards are essential to preserve any form of western civilisation.

    Few things annoy me more than Historian colonel Christopher Pugsley’s views that the military are a legitimate conservative interest in society and a power base for working class interests. The truth is the NZ military is only legitimate as long as it serves Western interests. Whether is any genuine NZ identity and nationhood and indeed whether there is a real independent Maori identity is doubtful and probably worng. My view of NZ is that it is only valid as long as it’s aim is to defend the west, regardless of its own long term fate.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Why do we need to project power?

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      Essentially my view of Iraq and Afghanistan is that there should have been no ground intervention and they should have been hit only by bomber and tomahawks.

      This is so ridiculous its not even funny.

      Its the belief that you can sit in a bunker somewhere in Virginia, and win a war in the middle east by pressing lots of red buttons, getting the desired strategic result by bombing middle east countries back to the stone age.

      What the hell.

      For starters you can’t secure any oil fields this way, so what’s the point, duh.

    • Colonial Viper 9.3

      My view of NZ is that it is only valid as long as it’s aim is to defend the west, regardless of its own long term fate.

      You’ve grown up during a time that “the west” was imperial rulers of the world

      Time for a new paradigm. The pendulum is returning to the mean. China, India and Russia will be holding sway now.

  10. Gosman 10

    When was Russia ever in a position of global significance beyond just advancing into largely under populated areas of the planet?

    • McFlock 10.1

      Given that Russia was the dominant state in the Soviet Union, and before then controlled extensive areas of Eastern Europe and Asia (including Korea), allow me to retort with a “lolwhut?”.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Do Russian atomic and hydrogen weapons help it to have “global significance”?

        And if not those, how about some of the largest fossil fuel reserves in the world? Where do these Right Wingers crawl out from.

    • Bored 10.2

      The day their tanks rolled into Berlin and squashed Hitler for a starter. Or maybe today when they control European fuel supplies.

  11. joe90 11

    With $662 billion in defence spending, because Iran has the US surrounded, the installation of a new dictator and the presence of 5500 mercenaries to protect an embassy the size of the Vatican city the evil empire ain’t going nowhere.

  12. lostinsurburbia 12

    The war wasn’t a total failure. It gave western weapon manufacturers a chance to demonstrate their latest products to the world and was also good practice for when the US military decides to attack Iran.

  13. millsy 13

    One of the legacies of this conflict would be the use of private military contractors, or, as the politcally incorrect and proud would call them, mercenaries.

    The privatisation of war is an issue which we should all be concerned about.

  14. I am happy that the war in Iraq is finally over. It has been 9 long years for Americans and their families. We have lost so many soliders for a war that we never should have even been a part of. The U.S. has a thing about trying to fix everyone except their own land. Now maybe we can focus on what is really the issue here. That being our hungry, homeless, uneducated americans.

  15. ropata 15

    All I want for Christmas is Global American Hegemony
    To sum up the above link: The US plans a massive expansionist drive around the world (and indeed even in outer space). In this it plans to take full advantage of its overwhelming military supremacy, including hitherto impermissible means, with inevitably terrible effects on the targeted populations. Not only inconvenient regimes but even certain US client regimes (such as Saudi Arabia) may be targeted. These countries are slated for direct rule by the American military, or rule under close and detailed direction by US monitors—encompassing not only foreign policy and economic policy, but political, social and cultural institutions as well. Direct control of oil will pass into American hands. Importantly, this drive is intended to prevent the emergence of rivals to American worldwide hegemony.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    8 hours ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    8 hours ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    8 hours ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    9 hours ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    10 hours ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    12 hours ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    1 day ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    1 day ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    5 days ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    5 days ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    5 days ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    6 days ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    6 days ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    6 days ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    6 days ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    1 week ago
  • More voices call for review of immigration policy
    The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is the latest credible voice to call for a review of immigration and skills policy, leaving John Key increasingly isolated, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister is rapidly becoming a man alone. He ...
    1 week ago
  • Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill
    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco circus has no place in NZ
    A High Court judgment proves National’s private prison agenda has failed and the Serco circus has no place in New Zealand correctional facilities, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless
    The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing
    Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ae Marika! Māori Party Oath Bill fails
    The Māori Party must reconsider its relationship with National after they failed to support Marama Fox’s Treaty of Waitangi Oath bill, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police Minister all platitudes no detail
    The Police Minister must explain where the budget for new police officers is coming from after continuously obfuscating, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lost luggage law shows National’s lost the plot
    The Government has proven it can’t address the big issues facing the tourism industry by allowing a Members Bill on lost luggage to be a priority, Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kris Faafoi said. “Nuk Korako’s Bill drawn from the Members’ Ballot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hiding behind the law – but can’t say which law
    National is refusing to come clean on what caused the potential trade dispute with China by hiding behind laws and trade rules they can’t even name, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “National admitted today that an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Work visas issued for jobs workless Kiwis want
    Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “A comparison of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis nationwide now paying for housing crisis
    The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now affecting the entire country with nationwide house price inflation in the past year hitting 26 per cent, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “None of National’s tinkering or half-baked, piecemeal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut piles pressure on Government
    Today’s OCR cut must be backed by Government action on housing and economic growth, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s monetary policy statement underlines the limits of Bill English’s economic management. He says growth is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must explain the McClay delay
    Todd McClay must explain why it took two months for him to properly inform the Prime Minister about China’s potential trade retaliation, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “This may be one of the most serious trade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut would be vote of no confidence in economy
    If Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler cuts the OCR tomorrow it would show that, despite his loudly-voiced concerns about fuelling the housing market, the stuttering economy is now a bigger concern, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill
    Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, it’s time to listen to the Auditor General
    Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the independent advice of the Auditor General and review the capital charge system imposed on District Health Boards, says Labour’ Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The capital charge on DHBs has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peas explain, Minister
    The Minister of Primary Industries needs to explain how the failure of its biosecurity systems led to the Pea Weevil incursion in the Wairarapa, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says “The decision to ban the growing of peas in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PM’s police numbers wrong
    The Prime Minister has said that police numbers will increase in-line with population growth, however, the Police’s own four year strategy clearly states there are no plans to increase police numbers for the next four years, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial double speak on GP Fees
      The Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga was simply making it up when he claimed today that General Practitioners had been given money in the Budget to lower fees, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In a reply to a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must close loophole in LVR rules
    The Government must urgently close a loophole in loan to value ratio mortgage restrictions which are stopping homeowners from buying new houses before they sell their old one, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank was forced to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bulk funding means bigger classes
    National’s plan to bulk fund schools can only result in bigger class sizes and a reduced range of subject choices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for John Key to sack his Housing Minister
    It is time for the Prime Minister to take serious and meaningful steps to address the housing crisis – and start by sacking Nick Smith as Housing Minister, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Clearly whatever it is National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman puts skids under cheaper GP visits
      Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders with high health needs are missing out on cheaper GP fees as the cost of going to the doctor hits $70, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “The number of practices subsidised to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police indifference over dine-and-dash appalling
      The fact that the police couldn’t be bothered investigating a dine–and-dash in Auckland is appalling and shows an indifference that is unacceptable, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The way it stands these men have got away scot free ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Covenant promises new deal for our children
    A covenant drawn up by Judge Carolyn Henwood  promises an important new deal for New Zealand’s children, says Labour’s spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern.  “It’s important that this covenant is a pledge to all children in this country. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Flagship fund more housing policy on the fly
    The Government’s flagship $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund was so rushed it wasn’t considered until after the Budget and announced just a month later, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Documents obtained by Labour through Written Parliamentary Questions show ...
    3 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere