What have we gained by invading Iraq?

Just looking for some opinions here. I myself see nothing, nada, zip gained from invading Iraq. I can probably come up with a pretty lengthy list of negatives, but NO positives, not a single one.

Well Saddam and his sons/associates cannot torture civilians anymore.

I don’t think we’re finished there yet, so I’d imagine any evaluation at this point is probably premature. It’s a bit dicey, but the ultimate hope is that we’ll eventually see the Mid-East stalemate of the last half century, which has tied up world politics no-end, move off bottom.

With the hope that it works to the favour of all of us.

OK, that’s one I didn’t think of. Should be now seek out other countries where torture is prevalent and oust their leaders too?

Though not of direct benefit to the US,

  1. One of the most brutal and disgusting regimes in the world is now mostly gone.

  2. If we’re lucky and handle things well, Iraq will become a prosperous and free democracy.

As for things that benefit us directly,

  1. Iraq is not going to be invading any neighboring countries (which we would then have to defend) anymore, nor launching missiles at Israel.

  2. Since Saddam’s government is now gone, Iraq will be able to engage in full international trade without sanctions again, which is good for everybody.

  3. We scared the hell out of other dictatorial terrorist states.

It all certainly came at a high price though. :frowning:

History will tell if the price was too high.

But what if neighboring countries decide to invade iraq? As ‘we’ now ‘occupy’ iraq we are obliged to defend it.

Thanks friedo, I have to agree with most of what you said there. I’m kinda scratching my head on the “democracy” issue though. Do Iraqis want a democracy or are we forcing that type of government on them? I mean, hell yeah I like democracy, but I’m not sure it’s the right system for everyone. Sounds crazy I know, just something to think about.

But I also think in the process we have alienated some of your strongest allies too.

Is this really a good thing? North Korea is so scared they’re making nuclear weapons.

That’s true, but the thread was about what we’ve gained, so I was limiting my comments to that. :slight_smile:

You’re also right to be concerned about “forcing” a democracy on Iraq. Ideally, the people will be able to choose representatives to draft some sort of Constitution or set up a government in accordance with their wishes. Remember, Iraq was an independant democracy for many years, with a legislature and everything. (A real one, not the puppet one under Saddam’s regime)

I’m sure there are still some people there who remember.

OK friedo, fair enough. I had to sit back here for a couple minutes and realize what I was doing. In my OP I asked for positive things, but I think I just wanted to cut down everyone’s reply. My bad, shame on me :{

Uh-uh. No.

Iraq’s legislative bodies, when operative, have without exception been subordinate ( usually very much so ) to other interests in its short history, either the alien Hashemite monarchy imposed by the British or the various strongmen that have taken power since then ( there has never been a democratic ransition in Iraq ).

Iraq’s democratic traditions are very, very weak. Like half-a-step above nonexistent. Frankly, Iran is a far more vibrant “democracy” ( and it ain’t overall, obviously enough )

  • Tamerlane


jjim and Lobsang: Get it together gentlemen :D.

Anyway, to expand slightly on my earlier point, while Iraq has had legislative bodies almost since inception and at least during parts of the monarchical period ( and probably not since, for any real length of time ) there could be found genuine political opposition figures in it, in practice political power not embodied by the central government mostly rested in the hands of important tribal and clan leaders. Whenever some sort of consensus was desired, it was to these that the central authority, either dictator or monarch, usually went to negotiate/flatter/intimidate. There were certainly pro-democracy forces struggling for success, but they never really got much of a foothold in Iraq in the face of the executive branch or more traditional political powers ( the fractured demographic nature of Iraq making it all the easier for such to flourish ).

  • Tamerlane

If we so desire, we have a country in which we can place military bases on a (semi)-permanent basis.

We have some measure of control over a major producer’s production of oil.

Several large US corporations will enjoy large reconstruction contracts.

We were able to test out military weapons and tactics under live-fire conditions.

So you’re saying this war was about American Imperialism??

And why isn’t this thread in Great Debates?

I agree with jimm, but Lobsang has it all wrong.

So, you couldn’t come up with a single “positive”? Not much of a thinker, are you?

Some of our guys get pretty good combat pay. Lots of lonley wifes are left at home, ripe for the picking.

There are two!

Actual headline: “Church ends probe of Gay Bishop”

Hey you I’m not saying those were the sole motivations, and someone previously mentioned ousting Saddam.
Nor am I suggesting that any benefits that might be identified outweigh the obvious and daily mounting costs.
Nor do I suggest that any ends can justify what I personally consider reprehensible and indefensible means.

I’m not sure why we took this action. I don’t think any of us can be. None of the alternative explanations really make sense to me. There certainly was no pressing need to do so in the manner we did at this time.

If the country makes war on two of its neighbors, resulting in over a quarter million deaths, and if the country is known to have developed weapons of mass destruction (UN, 1991) and is developing a nuclear weapons program (UN, 1991), and if human rights organizations find that over 300,000 of the country’s own citizens have disappeared.