Iraq War: Second Anniversary

The Iraq War was launched on March 20, 2003, two years ago today. Saddam Hussein has been removed from power; democratic elections have been held in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere in the Middle East; Libya’s Khaddafy has given up his WMD programs; and Syria is pulling out of Lebanon. On the down side, 1500 plus American soldiers are dead, hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent, and rifts in our alliances with Western Europe have been exposed and widened.

The editorial board of the Boston Herald

On the anniversary of the Iraq invasion, it would be a pleasant surprise to see a bit of national pride expressed in all that has been accomplished in the Middle East in two short years. But bellyaching comes naturally to some folks so allow us to point out the obvious. The world is safer today than it was on March 20, 2003.

Just don’t expect to read that on the editorial pages of the bellyacher-in-chief, The New York Times, which had this to say Friday: “The invasion of Iraq. . . was a world-changing event. We can see many of the consequences already. The good ones so far exist mainly as hopes and are fewer than the bad ones, some of which are all too concrete.” Groan, groan, grumble, grumble. Maybe these folks should spend some time reading their own newspaper to better understand that the Bush doctrine of spreading freedom in the Middle East to keep us safer at home is not just a policy of choice, but a policy of necessity.

A debatable point, to be sure. The Middle East is undeniably freer than it was two years ago, though, which should help get at the “root causes” that the Left criticizes the Right from ignoring. The war has been costly, though, and the long term future of Iraq, let alone the region, is still unknown.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Ron Wright says:

    See this related thread.

    Great OP-ED piece at Roger L. Simon’s this morning. See comment and thread:

    Link Here

  2. Ron Wright says:

    See related thread.

    Great OP-ED piece at Roger L. Simon’s this morning. See comment and thread:

    Link Here

    Follow the threads to support of women in the Islamofascists regimes.

  3. Clint Lovell says:

    Oh contraire, my depressing friend. The reality of the Middle East is only a brighter future now. The problem with an idea is that you can’t kill it – especially one as precious to mankind as the pursuit of life, liberty and world free of MooreOn Left.

    They have tasted it for years by seeing at least a slice of what democracy can do for a clever and hardworking populace like that in the USA.

    Now they see something totally different. The liars and agent provocateurs in their midst (especially the Arab media for whom the MSM constantly shills for by calling them “news organizations”) have been found to be a group of retarded Nostrodomites who’s future world vision doesn’t quite square with the reality that is being put into place by the policies of the USA. They see the mullahs and life in the caves and no path to self-sufficiency. They see us and see that despite everything the anti-Americanist movement has said about us, we continue to do the right thing all the time – even when it kills us in large numbers. You can’t deny something that powerful for long and have credibility.

    At the root of credibility is the kind of freedom that can only come from total intellectual honesty.

    No, it will be hard indeed to uproot this movement now that we have made the down payment on their futures. They aren’t stupid. They know they have been given a chance and a great gift that has not been matched by any existing Arab government.

    They see the light and they are serving notice that they are tired of living in the dark and being fed dung like a mushroom.

  4. Rberry says:

    How exactly is all of this success attributable to the war in Iraq? The fact that events have taken place at the same time does not automatically relate the two.

  5. Boyd says:

    Okay, Rberry, it was just coincidence. That makes much more sense than attributing these successes, at least in part, to our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Or maybe it was Intelligent Design. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

  6. Jack Tanner says:

    Rberry –

    Don’t let them get you down. we all know that Saddam’s real goal was a Democratic and free ME. All those hundreds of thousands of people people in the death pits were standing in his way. He maybe had to murder millions to get there but of course he just wanted freedom and dignity for Iraq and the rest of the ME.