web analytics
The Standard

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

1 2 3 8

  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    2 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    2 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    2 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    3 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    3 days ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    4 days ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Invermay petition delivered to Parliament
    Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark handed over a 12,450 signature Save Invermay petition to Dunedin South MP Clare Curran on the steps of Parliament today.  “The level of support that the petition has received across New Zealand is overwhelming,”… ...
    4 days ago
  • Redcliffs School closure plan wrong
    The Government’s proposal to consult on the closure of Redcliffs School not only goes against the best geotechnical advice, but more importantly goes against the best educational outcomes for Redcliffs children and the health of our community, Port Hills MP… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cotton On first to test the tea breaks law
    Australian corporate Cotton On, the first major business operating in New Zealand to exploit the new tea breaks law, could walk away from negotiations if it doesn’t get its own way, says Labour Party Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.  “Cotton… ...
    5 days ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Council can stop Port’s encroachment on harbour
    As owner of the Port of Auckland, Council can stop the wharf extension and reclamation if it wants to, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Goff. ‘As owner the council is custodian of the port and harbour on behalf of… ...
    5 days ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • State house sell-off fiasco a gift for developers
    The Government’s property developer mates are the only people who can salvage National’s state house sell-off now the Salvation Army has torpedoed the policy, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Having been cynically used by the Government as the poster… ...
    5 days ago
  • National reinforces inequality in schools
    The National Government’s flagship programme Investing in Educational Success is clearly reinforcing inequality in the school system, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The analysis released today by the NZEI clearly shows schools in wealthier suburbs are the main beneficiaries… ...
    5 days ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Solid Energy, who will clean up the mess?
    What can you say? This state-owned coal miner is facing some very serious problems. They haven’t run a profit in years, have required two Government bailouts, laid-off more than 700 staff and look like they need a third injection of… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere