National Catholic Reporter

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The war in Iraq was an abject failure

 |  NCR Today

President Barack Obama and administration officials are hailing the so-called end to the war in Iraqi as some kind of success. Some are saying that the loss of about 4,500 American lives with more than 100,000 injured as well as the thousands more Iraqis killed and wounded was worth the price of the war commenced by President George W. Bush in 2003.

But, in my opinion, this senseless war was not worth a single American or Iraqi life.

It was a war based on lies and deceptions, a war with the intent by the Bush Administration (supported by some opportunistic Democrats) to assert U.S. military power to underscore the maintenance of the American empire, not only in the Middle East but throughout the world.

This empire consists of ensuring American access to markets and to natural resources such as oil in different parts of the world. U.S. military power in the form of hundreds of worldwide military bases is also part of this empire.

When I say it was a senseless war, I mean that it was senseless for almost all Americans except for the ruling elite -- the 1 percent -- who benefit from this empire. For this ruling class, such wars of intervention, including Afghanistan, make sense with respect to their bottom line.

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But the war in Iraq can never be justified for those who died in it; those who came back maimed; those families torn apart as their loved ones left for war (and some never returned); and for the billions of dollars wasted that only has contributed to the country’s economic woes.

Instead of trying to somehow justify the Iraq war, President Obama should have used the removal of the last of U.S. combat troops to reflect on the tragedy of the war and to vow that, at least under his watch, no such unnecessary interventions would take place. In the end, only the majority of us can assure preventing such future wars by our protests and struggles against imperial adventures.

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