What a Waste as Iraq War Ends: 4,500 Americans Killed, 32,000 Wounded, $800B Spent


iraqAfter nearly nine years, 4,500 American dead and 100,000 Iraqi dead, U.S. officials formally shut down the war in Iraq – a conflict that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said was worth the American sacrifice, because it set Iraq on a path to democracy.

Panetta stepped off his military plane in Baghdad on Thursday as the leader of America’s war in Iraq, but will leave as one of many top U.S. and global officials who hope to work with the struggling nation as it tries to find its new place in the Middle East and the broader world.

Bombings and gun battles are still common. Experts are concerned about the Iraqi security force’s ability to defend the nation against foreign threats.

In addition to the dead, the war left 32,000 Americans wounded and cost the U.S. more than $800 billion.

Still, Panetta said earlier this week, it “has not been in vain.”

Panetta and several other U.S. diplomatic, military and defense leaders participated Thursday in a symbolic ceremony during which the flag of U.S. Forces-Iraq was officially retired, or “cased,” according to Army tradition. The U.S. Forces-Iraq flag was furled – or wrapped – around a flagpole and covered in camouflage. It will be brought back to the United States.

“You will leave with great pride – lasting pride,” Panetta told the troops. “Secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to begin a new chapter in history.”

During a stop in Afghanistan this week, Panetta described the mission as “making that country sovereign and independent and able to govern and secure itself.”

That, he said, is “a tribute to everybody – everybody who fought in that war, everybody who spilled blood in that war, everybody who was dedicated to making sure we could achieve that mission.”

Iraqi citizens offered a more pessimistic assessment. “The Americans are leaving behind them a destroyed country,” said Mariam Khazim of Sadr City. “The Americans did not leave modern schools or big factories behind them. Instead, they left thousands of widows and orphans.”

{Post Crescent/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. The title of the article “what a waste” is obviously an editorial and it’s nothing but a Kefirah statement. We have to constantly keep our eyes open for the lessons in daily events especially those that have a global effect. It’s no doubt that the entire Iraqi war was worth every penny and possibly every korban, just so the world can see what this so called ” peace and loving” Islamic religion is all about and how much the Arab nations would really stand up for each other. How many Americans and the rest of th world needed to see the real truth in order to understand what Israel faces on a daily basis with suicide bombs and other forms of terrorism. Nobody would’ve taken Iran’s nuclear threat as seriously as they do now if not for that “waste”.

  2. why oh why would they pull out the r stupid president has no foresight look at bush he had foresight he entered a really hard war many lives and money were spent but it will eventually save more lives its the means to the end however now that r liberal stuck in the moment prez pulled out the war did not finish doing what is was supposed to he only pulled out when his election campaign was at a low becasue this will make people happy temporarily but in the long run it wont bush didnt care whether or not he lost votes he wanted to protect us now the taliban has a lot more unrestricted power,many terorist will now be able to do as they please.

  3. These are not and never were friends of the US. Why does the US think their only enemy was Saddam Hussein? Every Iraqi was and remains against America. Why did we build them factories hospitals and schools? We should have carpet-bombed them and takeon over the oil fields.

  4. George Bush started it with the full approval of most of the democrats in congress and Senate. Sadaam Hussein constantly refused to allow inspectors in to see if he had weapons of mass destruction. If he would have allowed inspectors in, he could have avoided the war. Everyone was convinced that he had weapons of mass destruction, and indeed he did have chemical and biological weapons, which he had used in the past. An enormous amount of intelligence was uncovered, as well as thousands of terrorist leaders killed, which is what probably prevented another major attack on u.s. soil since 9-11. (bderech hateva)