“There is no question that the United States was divided going into that
war,” he said. “But I think the United States is united coming out of that war.
We all recognize the tremendous price that has been paid in lives, in blood. And
yet I think we also recognize that those lives were not lost in vain.”
The result, he said, has been establishment of a sovereign and independent
Iraq that can govern and secure itself and become “an important, stabilizing
factor in that region of the world.”
Glenn then proposes three questions based on Panetta’s comments…
(1) If the attack on Iraq was “worth it” — meaning the benefits outweighed the costs — then doesn’t that mean that Democrats (including President Obama) owe George Bush, Dick Cheney and friends a sincere apology for all those attacks they voiced over the years about the war? How can the Iraq War simultaneously have been a “stupid war” (President Obama’s 2002 description) and one where “the price has been worth it” (Panetta)?
(2) Consider how often U.S. officials announce to the Muslim world, either in essence or, as here, explicitly: yes, our actions extinguished the lives of hundreds of thousands of your innocent men, women and children, but we think it’s worth it. What is the inevitable outcome of that message being sent over and over?
(3) If the highest levels of the U.S. government believe the Iraq War was “worth it,” then doesn’t it stand to reason that more of the same should be done? That is the point Bacevich raised in identifying what may end up being the most destructive cost of all from the Iraq War:
I don’t have much to add but for my utter agreement with Glenn and my continued disgust with Obama and his Administration.