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.”
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