Tenth anniversary reminds of war’s damage

Depending on the source, U.S. military forces “departed” Iraq, leaving 134,000 to 1.24 million Iraqi civilians dead (depending on who’s counting). U.S. military dead: 4,448 plus about 3,400 U.S. contractors killed. Americans officially classified as wounded number 32,021.

The overall cost, which, unbelievably, the Bush administration estimated at $50-60 billion now looks as if it will top $6 trillion by 2053. 3.2 million Iraqis have fled their country, including at least half of the country’s doctors, leaving health-care infrastructure devastated.

Terrorism in and around Iraq is worse, killing 35 Iraqis in the last 10 days. And, arguably, the clearest geopolitical result we all got from Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice is that Iran is now the regional player with the most clout. Nice work, guys.

I am well aware that many of my friends and neighbors thought this invade-and-occupy project was a good idea. They read the papers, watch the news and they are patriots, no doubt.

But let us all remember that we were led to war by lies, including one told by the president of the United States before a joint session of Congress and one told by the secretary of state before the U.N. He suggests he was misled; whatever. And even some of the most prominent liberal leaders went along. Voting yes were both Colorado senators Allard and Campbell, along with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and 26 more Democrats and 46 more Republicans. Third District Rep. Scott McInnis voted “yes,” along with 81 Democrats and 214 Republicans.

Who benefited from this exercise? Here’s a partial list: Halliburton, DynCorp, Washington Group International, Environmental Chemical (cleaning up our mess), Aegis, International American Products, Erinys, Fluor, Perini and URS Corp. (controlled by Sen. Diane Feinstein’s husband), most of the oil companies, and countless other war profiteers. Don’t you with you could get a cost-plus contract?

All this was done by deceit and folly. It was not patriotic. It deeply damaged our country in many ways.

Happy 10th anniversary.

Peter Tregillus

Durango