Now that the dust from the Iraq War has had some time to settle, we Americans can thoughtfully reflect on why we went, what was accomplished, and the ongoing costs to our citizens. Early main proponents of the war are already backing away from their initial rationale of WMD, genocide, and imminent threats from Iraqi based Al Qaeda cells. Somehow we are desperately attempting to rewrite our rationale for that war in terms of sowing the seeds of democracy through regime change with extreme prejudice in a sovereign nation we neither understand nor welcome. It appears to many that the bottom line now approaches Iraqi civil war upon our departure after more than four thousand Americans dead, over thirty thousand Americans severely wounded, conservatively three hundred thousand innocent Iraqi women and children killed, hundreds of billions, if not more than a trillion dollars, of American treasure wasted, and our great nation attempting to regain its moral authority in the global community.
There are those who say the Iraq War was always about oil. If we examine the balance sheets of the oil companies and the oil infrastructure industry, yes, like Halliburton, we will find those who profited from that war. Unfortunately, no one really wants to admit that nasty detail, as it is too ugly and too selfish a reality to bear. Investigators are fond of saying, "Follow the money." If the American people can ever get a truthful accounting of our "off the budget books" spending that went toward the Iraq War, we would clearly see those who benefitted in this country from the war. We would be able to determine the cash winners.
This writer wishes we could lay our eyes on those numbers. Perhaps, some day, the history books will accurately describe the true motivations for the Iraq War and dismiss the fabricated rationalizations we have all believed for all these years. Truth is the best way to restore trust and confidence.