Patch Poll: Was the Iraqi War Worth It?

After a somewhat low-key announcement, American troops are leaving Iraq after nearly nine years of conflict.

The monetary cost: $800 billion. The human toll: nearly 4,500 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqis. The question: Was it worth it?

The “it” is the Iraq War that is now over. The war began on March 20, 2003, at a time when national defense was a top priority for Americans still shocked by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and fueled the New York Times said by the Bush administration’s claims, which proved to be false, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The war continued with the invasion and ouster of Saddam Hussein, then battled years of an insurgency that left tens of thousands dead.

Now, nearly nine years later, troops will be home by Christmas. An unbelievable gift for their families.

"It's good to see this thing coming to a close. I was here when it started," Staff Sgt. Christian Schultz told World News on msnbc.com just before leaving Contingency Operating Base Adder, 185 miles south of Baghdad, for the border. "I saw a lot of good changes, a lot of progress, and a lot of bad things, too."

NPR reported that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Baghdad Thursday watched over what's known as the casing of the colors—when the U.S. military flag is put away and sent back to the United States. The flag will then be retired and perhaps later go on display at the Pentagon. Panetta assured those gathered that the nearly 4,500 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqis who lost their lives had served an important cause.

"Those lives have not been lost in vain. They gave life to an independent, free and sovereign Iraq. And because of the sacrifices made, these years of war have now yielded to a new era of opportunity," Panetta said.

What do you think? Was the Iraq War worth the effort?

In last week’s Patch Poll: Should teenagers under the age of 17 be permitted to buy the Plan B morning-after pill without a prescription?, 70 percent of Patch readers said no; 29 percent answered yes.

Jim McMahon was among the 70 percent. “16-year-old kids are not very bright (I'm not talking GPA). I would not trust them with my car never mind taking this pill.”

For more comments, click .

Ray December 26, 2011 at 12:59 AM
- and while you're at it, Clarke's "Against All Enemies " is an interesting and very informative read as well.
Nick Beam December 26, 2011 at 01:14 AM
I have read plenty of Pollack's work, and enjoy a lot of it. However I don't buy into this not being a war for profit. Too many profited from it.
Doremus Jessup December 26, 2011 at 09:05 PM
Mr. Bradburn, As a veteran of a foriegn war I suppose I'll apply my distaste of war as I please. I can see how you think things I wrote are things being regurgitated, I figure the truth often gets repeated. You say shame on me for being against regime change, oh well shame on me for not wanting my fellow Americans put in harms way or everyday Iraqi citizens killed as well. I don't know what your history is with regards to service to country but I would not be surprised to find out if you are much like a Cheney(5 deferments) Bush 43(awol during national guard) or other chicken hawks who have no trouble beating the war drum while others pay the ultimate sacrifice. As for regime change in Iraq since 98 being the U.S. Policy , I would say it was a goal. I can't imagine Cheney trying to link Iraq with 9-11 repeatedly or lieing about yellow cake uranium being necessary to their cause if we as a nation were okay with invading Iraq since 1998. As for myself being uniformed,I guess that is a relative term and I can guess where you and I can find ourselves in that spectrum.
Dave Bradburn December 26, 2011 at 11:32 PM
Doremus, First off, thank you for your service to our country. You, in my belief have earned the right to make your objections to war. A little background about myself. I too am a veteran of a foreign war. I am a Marine. I served with the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines in the infantry. I have seen the horrific effects of war. I have lived and traveled extensively in Asia. I have seen the effects of war in Vietnam, I have seen the S-21 prison and the killing fields of Cheung Ok in Cambodia. I have seen the skeletal remains of victims of homicidal dictators. Roughly 2 million Cambodians died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. I don't take war lightly, but I don't shy away from it when diplomacy has failed. Your preoccupation with Dick Cheney is unhealthy at best. Dick Cheney has had a long and distinguished career in the U.S government. Did he avoid service in Vietnam with a legal defferment? Yes. President Bush served in the military and documents that suggested he was AWOL were manufactured by Dan Rather and Mary Mapes to influence an election. The link to yellow cake uranium proved not true, but many intelligence services from other countries believed it so. You say the truth gets repeated? Probably not as often as misinformation and falsehoods. The media orginizations in this country lean left, they have agendas and I fear you have fallen into the trap of taking what you hear for face value without going out and doing your own research.
Doremus Jessup December 27, 2011 at 01:36 PM
Mr. Bradburn, Thank you for your service. As for your characterizations of Cheney, Bush, and Yellow cake Uranium, I would disagree. My preoccupation with Cheney as you wrote is due to the fact that I figure he was running things, if I thought Bush was the brain of the administration I would place more blame with him. I suspect we agree on one thing that the military action in Afghanistan was necessary, so I am not always against war, but I do not know what the end goal is there now.


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