The last 500 American troops crossed into Kuwait from Iraq this morning, marking the end of eight and a half years of a war that was initiated on false premises and cherry-picked intelligence. While the war in Afghanistan was legitimately launched to uproot the Taliban who sponsored bin Laden's al Qaeda forces, the Iraq war was predicated on stopping Saddam Hussein from imminent development of nuclear weapons and his supposed links to the fundamentalist al Qaeda. Both rationales proved false. The neocon architects of the war have yet to be held to account for their deceit.
The cost in human and financial terms was great (a summary can be found here). Nearly 4,500 American soldiers were killed and over 30,000 wounded, and more than $800 billion spent. The toll on the Iraqi population was severe, with estimates of civilian casualties in the hundreds of thousands, leaving an economy shattered. The war diverted our resources from Afghanistan and the fight against al Qaeda, and it increased Iran's influence in Iraq and in the region.
We dedicate this old song to the memory of those lost and those forever changed by that war.