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Iraq War’s Consequences 10 Years Later

Evening Edition

Above: Ibrahim Al-Marashi, an assistant professor of Middle East history at CSU San Marcos, and Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy, a professor at UC San Diego's School of Medicine, talk to KPBS about the consequences of the Iraq War 10 years later.

Aired 3/12/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.

As we approach the 10-year anniversary of the launch of the U.S. war in Iraq, experts begin to examine the consequences.

Transcript

Ten years ago this month, U.S. forces invaded Iraq. It was a military action supported by a solid majority of Americans and virtually all national politicians. The rationale for war was that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction that could threaten America. Political leaders said Iraqis would welcome the U.S. military as liberators and the war would be over in months. None of that proved true.

Event

Tonight, a forum at UC San Diego will examine some of the consequences of the war in Iraq.

In 2002, Ibrahim Al-Marashi was a graduate student at the University of Oxford. He wrote a paper about how Saddam Hussein could stay in power after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. His work was plagiarized by U.S. and British government officials as an intelligence document and used to bolster the argument for going to war.

Al-Marashi is now a professor of Middle East studies at Cal State San Marcos. He said the actual act of government plagiarizing a student's paper is an indication that governments were desperate for information, and lacking any real intelligence information at the time.

Nearly 36,000 American military personnel were killed or injured during eight years of war in Iraq. Estimates of the number of Iraqis killed go as high as 1 million.

A BBC Arabic and the Guardian documentary released last week implicates U.S. advisers for the first time in human-rights abuses in Iraq.

The Guardian and BBC Arabic conducted a 15-month investigation and found that "retired U.S. Colonel James Steele, played a key role in training and overseeing U.S.-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centers in Iraq."

Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy emigrated to the U.S. from Iraq in 1994. He said in 2003 he was against the U.S. invasion of Iraq because he knew what was coming. But he said he hoped that his fears about the destruction and aftermath of the war were baseless and that it would bring democracy to Iraq.

But, Dr. Al-Delaimy said his worst fears have come true.

"The Iraq war's systematic destruction of the fabric of society was beyond my wildest imagination," he said.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Porfiriobc'

Porfiriobc | March 12, 2013 at 12:36 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

Do any of these gentlemen assign any responsibility for their country's wretched politics to Iraqis themselves? Is the man who's talking of "harmony" in Iraqi society (a la Michael Moore) joking?!!!!

Finally, so two wrongs make a right - since the US didn't intervene in '88 they shouldn't have done so in 2003? Of course not.

Carlos in Tijuana

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 12, 2013 at 2:02 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

Carlos,

The US had no justifiable reason to attack Iraq in 2003 or 1990. Especially not after the US provided Saddam Hussein with technology, arms, missiles, aircraft, and billions in aid during the Iraq-Iran war in the 80's.

The US was/is the aggressor nation and is increasingly viewed as such around the world even amongst allies.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 12, 2013 at 2:24 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

War in Iraq.

Biggest. Mistake. Since. Vietnam.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | March 12, 2013 at 2:25 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

CADefender, agree 100%.

It takes someone who loves their country to admit their country's faults.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | March 12, 2013 at 2:32 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

With Ron Paul, or Rand Paul, or Gary Johnson, none of these wars would have happened.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | March 12, 2013 at 2:53 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

Duck,

I agree, but we can't just admit fault, we need action to correct the problem and the problem is Washington DC. Reducing federal power by decreasing taxation is the only way. Increase state taxation to compensate.

JM,

Those are three great American statesmen cut from the same cloth as our Founding Fathers. I wish we had 532 more.

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