September 1st, 2010
04:18 PM ET

What exactly did U.S. gain by going to war in Iraq?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Despite President Obama's speech last night, the war in Iraq is not over.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/01/art.obama.speech.jpg caption=""]
In a somber address from the Oval Office, the president thanked the troops and formally ended America's combat role in Iraq after seven years.

Mr. Obama said the U.S. "has paid a huge price." And we have: including the lives of more than 4,400 troops, another 35,000-plus wounded, and a cost of more than $700 billion.

But even after all this - our commitment is not through. There are still 50,000 U.S. troops in Iraq for support and training. They're set to be there through next year, and sadly more of them will likely die.

In many ways, Iraq is still a mess. The country is wracked with violence and political instability. They haven't been able to form a government five months after recent elections. And they regularly suffer from shortages of things like electricity and water.

Meanwhile - George W. Bush's closest ally when it came to Iraq, Tony Blair, is out with his memoir containing emotional passages on the war.

The former British Prime Minister admits that the U.S. and britain didn't anticipate "the nightmare that unfolded" after Saddam Hussein was toppled, or the role Iran and al Qaeda would play. Blair writes he has shed many tears over the loss of life, yet "I can't regret the decision to go to war." Blair says he's devoting "a large part of the life left to me" to Middle East peace.

The thing about the war in Iraq is it seems nearly impossible to put your finger on what exactly was accomplished. The population remains divided and likely will be for centuries to come. Of course there's all that oil.

Here’s my question to you: What exactly did the U.S. gain by going to war in Iraq?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Iraq • War in Iraq
soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Conor in Chicago

    So Blair says that " the U.S. and Britain didn't anticipate 'the nightmare that unfolded' after Saddam Hussein was toppled, or the role Iran and al Qaeda would play."

    If you believe that, please stop voting immediately. I was a 25 year old History student at the time AND I KNEW this was all going to happen. Don't tell me the CIA, NSA, various think tanks, and common sense weren't telling Bush and Blair the same things.

    That should tell you everything you ever wanted to know about this war. They only things gained were lots of money for your corporate masters-nothing more.

    September 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  2. Linda DFW


    How about 4,400 dead and $700 billion in debt. That's about it.

    September 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  3. Jim LaVelle

    Only the loss of a lot a brave men and women and the wounding of many more. Oh, and maybe the respect and cooperation of a large part of the world. Maybe a bit of money too. Iraq was an oppressive regime but it had nothing to do with 9/11 (as Bush finally admitted). We did not have the right to invade a sovereign nation (a concept Bush didn't understand) that, while being heinous to its own citizens, posed no threat to us, as the weapons inspectors that Bush pulled out were proving.

    September 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  4. thomas marshall

    The same things we gained from Korea and Vietnam. Absolutely nothing but a lot of broken hearts and broken bodies
    Unfortunately we still haven't learned anything!

    September 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  5. Conor in Chicago

    We gained an unmistakeable example of why you should never volunteer to fight for the United States. You will be sent into harms way by the rich and will be either dead or poorer as a result of it.

    September 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  6. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    I try and help a veteran friend to go to a Veteran's hospital about an hour away for care from time to time. I strongly suggest that people pay a visit once a year if possible to a Veteran's hospital and view the sacrifices made. As far as what may have been accomplished in Iraq, I would ask if jobs have increased in the orthopedic/prosthetic industry? Would this be an accomplishment for the war and a plus for the economy ?

    September 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  7. Phil-Wenatchee, WA

    NOTHING...except furthering an already bad reputation from other world countries.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  8. Jim Mazenis

    I do believe that, when we went to war with Iraq, it sent a shivering message to the Muslim world. That message being: don't mess with us...we don't care who you are or where you are at. Keep it up and you will see us coming.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  9. Greg Who? Mechanicsburg, PA

    As the song goes, "Absolutely nothing!" We lost credibility. We lost the lives of our troops. We lost our infrastructure. We lost nearly a trillion dollars. We lost Osama Bin Laden. We gained a huge national debt, huge unemployment, and an ever-deepening recession. As Iraq fractures with our departure, we will have lost even more. We never should have believed the propaganda of Bush/Cheney/Republicans/Conservatives. Hopefully we will have gained a lesson in morality and not repeat the same mistake ever again. Yeah, right.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  10. ~BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa~

    You'd better ask Dubbya, Pres. Cheney, Rummy, or Condy. After all, it was their cakewalk.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  11. suzi

    Nothing. Our troops should never have been sent there. The weapons of mass destruction was a lie told in order to get even with Saddam. It was done for daddy. The people in Iraq people are much worse off than before. They at least had a leader, homes, electricity and food.
    Our country would have been $700 billion dollars better off too.
    Between the two wars and the tax cuts, for only the wealthy for ten years, that is a big part of why the U.S.A. is in such bad shape.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  12. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    This is such a depressing question because the answer is so obvious. Nothing but heartache was accomplished for both America and Iraq.
    It is unfortunate that George W. Bush has an I.Q. ranking him somewhere between an idiot and a moron. If that man had even half a normal brain, he would not be able to sleep at night realizing the pure chaos he unleashed by his decision, solely based on "facts" he knew were lies, to invade Iraq.
    The horror of it all, Jack, is that the same depressing question will be asked shortly about Afghanistan, and the same sad answer will be forthcoming.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  13. Carl


    Thats a simple nothing, thats what. Many lost lives, money, we are hated much more. It makes me wonder if and when we will ever stop trying to be the police of the world and just mind our own business for a great change. Our country has to be about the nosiest country in the world, don't you think Jack? Did our inept government ever consider the the fact that not every country in the world might not want democracy. We need to stop trying to shove our way of life down every country in the world.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  14. Valerie in Raleigh

    Absolutely nothing!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  15. Kevin F. Brewer from SE Missouri

    What did we gain? Nothing.
    What did we lose? Far too much.

    We didn't learn from Vietnam, and I doubt we will from Iraq either.

    I'm sure we would be in better shape during this recession if that money was spent to fix problems over here instead. Lets fix America first.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  16. Rohin

    More enemies.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  17. katiec Pekin, IL

    Absolutely nothing, Jack.
    What we lost was innocent lives, people maimed for life a hugh cost that the previous administration tried to hide, and lack of respect for our actions world wide.
    We also lost respect for the office of president and co-horts by being manipulated and lied to for their unwarranted reasons to attack, inept handling of the war and our country and burdens we will be paying for for years.
    Our country, the American people, the Iraquis, the world gained nothing,
    We all lost.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  18. ben stockton, calif

    not one thing was accomplished other than wasting billions and blood in iraq. seems like the troops became cannon fodder. skimpy intelligence. and all . seems like bush/cheney wanted war in the worst way. saddam would have eventually been eliminated by sending in a special unit to take him out along with his sons. what irks me is we will do the same thing in afganistan. we will never win there. best to pull the troops out and send in armed, unmanned drones and eliminate trouble spots as they appear without boots on the ground. the red army learned this lesson the hard way and they were smart enough to get out of there..

    September 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  19. calaurore9

    When Saddam's statue was toppled you couldn't drive from the Airport to Baghdad without security. How many dollars, lives later can you today? No. Breaks my heart. So much for so little.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  20. Ann from Charleston SC

    I don't think the US gained anything, at least not looking at it from the perspective of the present time. Maybe history will find a benefit. The Iraqi people were freed from an evil dictator. They now have the opportunity to build a better government. Time will tell if they are ever able to accomplish enough agreement among themselves to govern.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  21. James

    The answer is the same as the answer for, "What did the U.S. gain from the war in Vietnam?"

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  22. Ray in Nashville

    Let's see, Jack,...

    We stabilized the Middle Ea.... uh, wait, no we didn't.
    We brought a stable government to Ira... wait, we haven't yet.
    We brought peace to people of that regio... wait, the Sunnis and Shias still hate each other.

    Oh, I know, we made friends of Bush and Cheney wealthier and we helped erase the blot of failing to remove Saddam off the Bush family name.

    Those are worth over 34,000 casualties, aren't they?

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  23. David Scott Doherty

    We got rid of the WMD, oh wait there was none! We stopped all the senseless killing by taking out Hussein, oh wait I guess we caused a lot of senseless killing ourselves along with 4400 of our own. I guess all we accomplished was we got rid of a lot of old and new munitions, and we made a lot of defense contractors absolutely filthy rich, mean while bush and cheney go merrily on with their lives, and apparently we don't plan on doing a damn thing about it!
    Dave from NH

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  24. Rodrigo Gomes

    A bad reputation around the world.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  25. Ken in NC

    The US gained the distinction of proving on the world stage, the old adage that, "a fool and his money are soon parted"

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  26. Paul Couchman

    That's easy Jack. Bush and his oil buddies did (and now will continue to) get rich.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  27. Eric Buechel

    We made Iran Stronger and destabilized the area.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  28. Reed from NYC

    We got Obama. Bush created the conditions possible for that to happen.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  29. Alex

    One less genocidal dictator in the world.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  30. Hesam

    US didn't gain anything but 4400 bodies, but US corporations gained about $2,000,0000,000,000.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  31. Staci

    We got oil and 8 damn long years of Bush.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  32. Ron in NC

    Absolutely NOTHING! We have wasted every dollar that was blown away by this original Bush venture, but carried on by Obama for two additional years...Obama should have brought these boys home the day he took office! Additionally Saddam Hussein was the manager of that country and we should have left him and that country to its own devise. Bush does need to do prison time for this escapade and Obama probably should be included!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  33. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack, we gained only grief. When Balfour divided the region up into countries he neglected centuries of tribal rule, customs, and tradition. You can draw a line in the sand but you can't hold it in a blowing wind. His doctrine is and will continue to cause grief elsewhere. Now to try make it work in a 8 year span, well you can form your own conclusion. Our troops and their families paid the greatest cost. I humbly thank them, for all they have, and will, be going through.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  34. Felisa

    Unfortunately, more enemies.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  35. Jordan Hutchison

    The United States gained only more debt and death. We should have never set foot on Middle East soil. Their governments are not our responsibilities. We should stop trying to force our ways on other countries because that only causes more conflict. Just because we believe in one way, does not mean that other people/countries will believe the same.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  36. Ronnie

    Hi Jack. Well we gained a lot from the Iraq War. A few include an extended defeceit, thousands of lost lives, and absolutely nothing else. I can't understand exactly why we're there in the first place. Our economy is in shambles and we have nothing to gain from Iraq. Maybe it was oil, who knows except George W Bush.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  37. Tina Richmond

    Well Jack... higher oil prices, control of the oil flow. You know we had to finish what Bush #1 started. Anyway.. I digress.....

    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  38. Dale W. Wood

    Q: What exactly did the U.S. gain by going to war in Iraq?

    A: Precious little !

    Huntsville, Alabama

    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  39. Nelson Blue

    We gained a great deal of ill will. There was no good reason for the war. Just a pack of lies.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  40. John Fiddler

    No gain. Just a loss of 4416 dead soldiers.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  41. Tom in NC

    We lost 8 years, over 4,000 soldiers and over 700 Billion dollars, not to mention allowing the Taliban to rebuild in Afghanistan. This was more than a war of choice, it was a war driven by one man's vanity - George W. Bush.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  42. Patrick

    Jack –
    Nothing was gained by the way taking place in Iraq. However you have to get President Obama some credit for ending this war. Had Bush still been in office, more dollars would have been poured into the war for no reason and they would still be looking for WMD's!! The president needs some credit for at least wanting to end this war, making a plan and trying to stick to it. I just hope an pray the other 50k or so troops left behind will be okay and return safely.

    Baltimore, MD

    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  43. Scott

    We gained another country run by an Ayatollah, to yet be named....

    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  44. don

    we gained a more dangerous Iran and eliminated the iraqi christian population and the hawks couldn't see what was coming according to the cato institute.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  45. Alton

    One word Jack....Nothing!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  46. Chris in Cleveland

    What did the US gain? A large percentage of our current National Debt. The only larger contributor to the current US National Debt is the Bush Tax Cuts.

    Hopefully, they will both come to an end soon.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  47. John Gill

    The answer is simple, NOTHING. We only lost.
    We lost lives, treasure, prestige, credibility.
    This was simply a war that Bush and his pals wanted and then didn't know what to do with it once they started it.
    There is no happy ending here, none.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  48. Blake

    We gained nothing! A full scale custard pie fight where opposing troops just threw cream pies at each other would have made more sense at this point. And at least then they could have dressed comfortably and done it in bare feet lol.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  49. Nicki

    The U.S. sadly gained much resentment from the people of other countries. My friends from Europe have spoke of their disapproval of our country's decision to invade Iraq.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  50. Rosalie Cirlih

    We gained a much better understanding of the Middle East which is so important as the world gets smaller and we can no longer isolate ourselves.


    September 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  51. bob n

    should leave the dicisions on combat to the veterans
    the last two amutures kinda screwed it up

    September 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  52. Mary G

    The leaders who took us to war in the middle east furthered the establishment of the Military/Industrial Complex which President Dwight Eisenhower warned against. We are now under the control of the corporations/politicians who believe we should have military/corporate rule at the expense of all U.S. citizens except those who benefit from those corporations. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer. We are becoming a third world country by this incessant debt/war/killing, etc. We may never be able to get out of this hole, and going back to Republican rule will only further advance the mess we already have.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |

    What did we gain in the Iraq war? Perhaps nothing- but is it always about us? We seem to want to be all things to all countries- whenever there's a natural disaster we're the first in line to help, and we often try and broker peace treaties between warring nations. So, why not put a bully in their place? Of course, I would say we also gave ourselves a measure of peace- anyone who says we didn't clean out some terrorists in Iraq is a fool.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  54. Terrance

    Jack, I think that if there is any lesson to be learned from the war in Iraq is to look before we leap and not to make knee jerk decisions based on fear.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  55. cody donaldson

    they really haven't gained much out of the war because they started a war that iraq wasn't a problem to this country but they wanted to have a country to be expressed and to allow themselves to be dependent on certain criteria that makes a country more valuable and to achieve victorious stages in current events and that the soldiers risked their lives to protect iraq and afghanistan and i do applaude that they are doing a great job and hopefully they can come home soon...

    September 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  56. mark

    whatever happened to militarizing the oil fields? whatever happened to one of the richest nations, with its oil reserves, pitching in to pay for its independence? whatever happened to the war paying for itself?

    a trillion dollar deficit was gained as well as the revelation for bush, cheney, et al. that warring factions will never see eye to eye.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  57. Muhammad Q

    Richmond, VA

    Not much Jack, not much,

    September 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  58. James T

    Well, i think we gained a big deficit from that 7 and a half year conflict. I am glad the President kept his biggest promise as a candidate. I cant believe the Republicans are saying that President Obama owe President some credit for ending this mess.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  59. John Farrelly

    A better question would be "what did the the US lose as a result of this war?"

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  60. Kevin in Seattle

    Companies like Haliburton and Blackwater got rich, but the country gained only the disdain of the world - losing the goodwill we had after September 11. It was the biggest foreign policy blunder in decades.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  61. John Schilling, Chambersburg, PA

    Nothing. Which is about what we'll gain for fighting in Afganistan also. When will we wake up and realize that we cannot be the world's peacemaker.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  62. juan

    simply put, we gained an additional 4400 head stones at arlington national cemetery.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  63. Leroy_Skalstad

    What did the US gain. More wealthy folks from those lucrative military contracts who are now watching if the Bush tax cuts will stay intact.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  64. jz

    The US government accomplished spending $1,000,000,000,000 trillion dollars of American Taxypayer money without the support of a majority of the of the people. They built up the uS military complex to make defense contractrors rich. They have accomplished putting the American economy in a recession close to a depression and they have helped unemployed 15 million people.
    This is just the type of government everyone needs and beyond that they have accomplished nothing just like Vietnam.

    Charlotte, NC

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  65. Samuel W., FL.

    We gained an even longer list of dead Americans who gave their lives in a foreign war we should not have been in to start with.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  66. William Courtland

    The only thing you would expect it to gain is a lesson in the foolishness of creating a warzone.

    Looking back at things: the cost of nearly a trillion dollars...

    Iraq only has 30 000 000 citizens: so taken that a trillon dollars was spent to 'liberate them' from being protected and secure from sorcery and criminal hypnosis: the fact is you could have given nearly 30 000 dollars in American to each and every citizen: and I am sure that would have well funded the revolution and revolt needed to deposit Saddam...

    So next time: just start with the installation of Lamp post and other technical advancements required for social stability, western equality, and peace; this instead of causing the death of 100 000 to a million of their innocent civilians.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  67. Anthony

    The US didn't gain anything except humiliation and more debt from Iraq. Granted the ISF is much more improved due to our training, but instabilty will always be a factor undermining our seven year tenure there.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  68. Steve

    Gain? You are joking, right ? There is no offset to the cost in young souls. There cannot be any gain there. Anyone who thinks so is so ideologically bent that they are past reason..Re-elect them again this fall and watch the momentum start to build again for the next event.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  69. Yoncey

    What exactly did U.S. gain by going to war in Iraq, Is a double edged sword question.
    #1 The U.S people and citizens have gained absolutely nothing from this war other than more possible hate from other countries and a huge debt.
    #2 The U.S government and Military (not the people)gained greatly by having more troops surgically implanted in that area for future wars with Iran and other possible so called threats in that area.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  70. Veda Ojeda-TX

    What have we gained- a sense that our country is not "on top" anymore. The whole process of this war, from start to "finish," has diminished so many truths that Americans used to believe– wide-spread skepticism and mistrust were bred from a previous foreign policy apathy.

    We are able to see ourselves for the nation we ARE, not what we were, and sadly, not what's in the future. Here's to realism.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  71. Donna McLemore

    Absolutely nothing. Just more dead and injured.So what is the toll now for 911. 8,000.00 ?

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  72. Tam Blackmon

    Mr. Cafferty, we removed a brutal dictator that brutally abused his people and had them live in fear everyday of their lives. We americans take our freedom for granted.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  73. Tory in Georgia

    My generation will always hear the refrain of the song by Edwin Starr ...
    "War. What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'."

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  74. Matt from Miami, Fl

    We gained nothing from this war except more hatred towards us and instead of decreasing the threat of terrorist attacks, we have increased it.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  75. David

    Hi Jack,

    What did American gain by going to war in Iraq? America didn't gain anything, but the Republican party gained a 2nd term for their President and 2 more years of Republican control of congress. Oh yea...Halliburton and the other members of the Military Industrial Complex gained (and still gaining) billions of dollars! But the rest of America? We didn't gain anything but disrespect and distrust throughout the world!

    San Diego, CA

    September 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  76. Joe

    We gained nothing and lost a lot.
    Pensacola Fl.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  77. Harrison

    We gained absolutely nothing but a favor from the country of Kuwait by moving them s slightly further out of harms way. This was only accomplished by making sure they weren't the weakest country in the region. Saddam was the leader of this nation for a reason developing nations need to be run with an iron fist at times and you also have to bluff neighboring nations into believing you're stronger than you are. This war wa a total lost including contributing more to our national debt than any health carr plan or bank reform ever will.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  78. jim

    Both the United States and Iraq were big losers in the Iraq War. The big winner is Iran. For years Saddam was a great threat to that nation and we eliminated that threat for them.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  79. Curt

    It doesn't seem like much in the short term, but history takes time to evolve so you may have to wait twenty or thirty years to see the results of our labor.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  80. Gonzo

    Debt, loss of life, a new generation of mentally and physically wounded combat veterans.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  81. John

    The basis of that question may very well be the problem. Why does it have to be about what the U.S. has gained. I have been in the Army for ten years and have not once asked, "What have I gained"? It has always been, at least for me, What have I helped others to gain. I think that is a question that we all need to ask ourselves a little more often. Just an old Soldiers thought.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  82. Barbara in Las Vegas

    Not a heck of a lot Jack. Unless you count the extreme xenophobia that has now developed in this country against anyone who looks as though they might be of middle east or east Indian descent. Also remember the what seems to be downright hatred against any and all things considered "not American," the hate crimes increase, all kinds of things of that nature are the upshot (maybe I should call it a downfall; there's really nothing "up" about it, in any positive sense, anyway). Then of course, there are the lives of US service men and women that have been LOST. So, let's recap, an uptick in hatred of "the other" here in the US and a loss of lives of soldierson who were sent to not one, but two wars that the US had/has no chance of ever "winning".

    September 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  83. Allan

    The US gained a few things by declaring an un-justified war on IRAQ:

    1. Lost ground on the real terrorist war.

    2. Removal of Sadam – an enemy of G. Bush Sr. A present from G. Bush Jr.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  84. Ronald S.

    Nothing. Just another reason to play world police. Question should be why havent we found WMD's? That was the so called "foundation" for going to war and lets not forget the majority of the attackers were SAUDI!!! NOT IRAQI! The bush administration and all those associated with the intel on this disaster and untimate loss of life should be held accounatable, no holds barred!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  85. Dave Hubbartt

    We've gained a loss of life, money and resources beyond comprehension by most Americans. And of course Bush gained revenge in the name of his father. I hope it was worth it to you George.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  86. gaudeamus igitur

    They gain lots of fuel and gas, death of innocent and unnecessary budget deficit.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  87. R R Rohrback

    Listen up, Jack! I wore our country's uniform for 34 years. I'm a bit biased, but our military proved to the World that's it's the finest example of character, integrity, and humanitarian compassion ever displayed in history. Unfortunately, the civilian leadership let us down, and once again, the USA's reputation in the World will suffer for years to come.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  88. Allan

    I think it is obvious...we have not gained much...here is a quote that I found interesting though..

    " The primary aim of modern warfare...is to use the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living...The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour......"

    I say with thousands of lives lost and over $9 billion missing and 1 trillion spent it is very obvious that this war was not very effective

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  89. Kevin

    Why does the U.S. have to benefit directly from any war or military action. In wars like WW II and Korea the U.S. was there to help eliminate dictators and to promote the idea of freedom and equality. The U.S. is in countrys the world wide trying to promote the ideas of democracy and the right of the poeple to govern themselves. It was over 40 years after WW II that we saw the seeds planted by the Allies come to full bloom with the unification of a democratic Germany. Those same seeds have been South Korea a viable economic country also with a fully democratic government. Those same seeds are being planted in Iraq, and hopfully Afghanistan. Years from now I hope we see those same seeds come to full bloom.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  90. Ashton Spencer

    We got a dictator out . ps. 416,800 US soldiers died in world war 2 in Iraq 4,000 and we have been in Iraq longer.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  91. mark

    The USA gained nothing from the Iraq war. Just like Vietnam,Iraq will be the same raggedy mess it was when we leave as it was when we got there. Bush/Cheney lied to justify their invasion and we as a nation financially and morally bankrupted ourselves in the years of our occupation.Thousands dead,a trillion spent in Iraq and now a repeat on an even bigger scale will happen in Afghanistan.We let a draft dodging cowboy destroy our nation and our future. Hopefully we did gain the smarts not to let one little man with a Napolean complex do this to us again.

    Byrdstown, TN

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  92. Erik (Utah)

    The U. S. invasion of Iraq was begun based on a lie. The political game played by the Bush administration in initiating the war (and the so-called War on Terror as a whole) fueled our country's political denial and idealism for years. The paranoid ideals fostered over that period have given rise to the ugliness of the nationwide horror at the idea of building Islamic community centers. Hopefully, over time, what will be gained by the war will be a bit of well-needed perspective.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  93. g canada

    haliburton and friends made big profit

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  94. Jim Curtis

    Without the war in Iraq how would we have financed the private security companies such as Blackwater to protect our local soils under privitization contracts. Hopefully Blackwater also developed new and sophisticated communications and information suppression and diversion techniques to keep at least one political light bulb in Alaska focused soley on her her view of Russia from the confines of her home. Jim Curtis Salt Lake City, Utah

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  95. James in Texas

    So, you really want to know what we gained by going to war with
    Iraq. Well, let me list a few, thousands of dead American soldiers,
    thousands of wounded and injured American soldiers, many thousands
    more people in the world that dislike us, a broken U.S. economy,
    not one thing we can take to the bank. Somewhere along the line
    our politicians decided we can change the world through force.
    If we just invade and maime enough of a particular country, "nation
    build" it for years, they will magically become just like us.
    How foolish and egotistical can a nation become?

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  96. pete

    Vast profits for the profiteers. The Bush/Cheney war was a feeding trough of the US Treasury.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  97. Bill Berthelet

    Mr. Cafferty, ... nothing has been gained by U.S. Combat Mission in Iraq. I have only read about thousands of killings and wounded soldiers and civilians. I am so sorry the U.S. must go into other countries in a state of paranoia. I say: Get out of Afghanistan too ... let those people determine their own fate. Stop being what in A.A. is called a Red Cross Nurse. Sincerely, me. Also, Jack, you are the best part of CNN.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  98. Wayne Gregory

    Remember Scott Ritter? The wmd inspector in Iraq. He said Saddam had nothing and he was characterized as unpatriotic. Iraq makes Nam look like a worthwhile war. Never thought I'd live to think Nam was simple. Lessons not studied going into Iraq. Nothing gained and much loss.


    September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  99. Kramerica

    At the very least, we now have more airstrips and U.S. secured turf in the Middle East, and we've added a decent land buffer between Iran and Israel which enables the interception of Iranian missile attacks.

    In short, we have given Iran something to think about – for what it's worth when dealing with extremists.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  100. Manni

    To an optimist, a stronger connection with the people in Iraq. They now, I hope, know that this war goes beyond religion, politics and the money spent fueling it.They know that countries like the U.S. are with them. To the pessimist, the war on Iraq has achieved sacrificing countless lives only to have soldiers pull back. A 'failed attempt', they may call. But regardless, both sides speak of the task at hand: an initiative to achieve an independent Iraq.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  101. vikram Malik

    It seems that we have satisfied our ego by just going to war and may be some control OIL control for our needs. It seems like we were not satisfied with our destruction from Vietnam war. It was this same question we asked then also and we ask now .

    I hope we just don't do another disaster like this going in hunt for WMD...again and sacrifice the life our brave soldiers and there families who have made this supreme sacrifice for the sake of our mistakes of our leaders...

    September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  102. Anita Flower Mound TX

    What will probably come to more than a trillion dollor debt for our children and their children to deal with. Not much else I can see.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  103. John

    What remains unsaid is the real reason we went into Iraq: George W. Bush's salvaging his family name and revenge against Saddam Hussein for the the assassination attempt on his father. He needed justification, hence the non-existent "weapons of mass destruction."

    What we will end up with in Iraq is another Iran-supported fundamentalist Islamic regime dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the United States.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  104. Joseph C.

    Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Haliburton, and many others in the Military Industrial Complex have gained billions-all because of their partners in crime Donald Rumsfeld and Dic Cheney. All the while America has lost trillions, entraped ourself in an age old tribal conflict, and lost precious American lives...and we still didn't get the oil!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  105. Joe Steuart

    They got out of the war just what they went in for, to make sure Shell Oil and Conoco-Phillips got their oil contracts back.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  106. Matt Holiner, Austin, TX

    The U.S. gained peace of mind knowing that there is one less radical tyrant in the world now that Saddam Hussein is dead. Without the Iraq war, Saddam would still be in power and a threat to the U.S.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  107. Lyn

    What did we gain? Billions in debt that was never accounted for in our budget and now threatens our nation with an economic crisis for which no one really has answers; an even higher level of distrust in our elected officials; and a necessary confrontation in Afghanistan that could have made our nation safer against the terrorists who were responsible for the horrible deeds of 9/11. It was a high price to pay for vengeance. And yet the vengeance goes on from within as elected officials continue to lack honesty in governing for the people and still put party first.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  108. Dorothea

    What did we GAIN, come again, are you kidding, the question should be, how great a loss was the Iraq War. Incidentally, when do the trials begin for all those responsible for lying us into a war. I am 100% behind Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor, who wants to have George W. Bush tried as a war criminal. Let's add a few other names......Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell (who should have resigned because he knew what was going on) and Henry Kissinger who for eight years advised George Bush. Looks like taking steroids can get you a jail sentence faster than lying us into a war..........Go figure.............

    September 1, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  109. Suzan - NYC

    Jack, the U.S. gained a destabilized Iraq and got rid of Sadam Hussein, a leader who had a strict regime, which apparently was necessary to keep the divided Iraqis tamed. The Americans are now welcomed by the majority (un-extremist) Iraqis to "help" them control the madness which the U.S. unleashed to start with. Even though we are no longer in "combat" we still have our foot in the door as if we're "helping" to stabilize their country – and who knows what will come out of this by the end of 2011 – perhaps, a friendly deal of some oil?

    September 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  110. Ed Smith

    We have learned how to build and test new weapons, found out our military vehicles are not bomb-proof, the military officers got promotions and the munition manufactorers got richer. Score another for the military-industrial complex.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  111. Gene Lucas

    It accomplished exactly what it was intended to do – keep "new" Iraqi oil off the market, preventing the anticipated meltdown in the market. It still is working, since not one drop of new oil has been shipped yet, and maybe won't be for a long time.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  112. George

    The US acheived the same kind of short-time strategic goals that were won by the overthrow of Mossdeqh in Iran and the installation of the Shah in 1953 followed by the Ayatollah Khomeni's revolution in 1979. A similar Mid-East victory was won by US military support of the Afghan Mujahideen in the 1980s, the ouster of the occupying Russians, and the predictable rise of the Afghan Taliban and its friends in Al Qaeda. It's called blowback. Let's check back in a decade or tow in Iraq. Who want to bet that some brutal Saddam clone is running the show and most Iraqi's blame America for its woes.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  113. Bill Caldwell

    NO Gain , Just horrible lost and suffering for years to come! Thanks Bushy Heck of a job!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  114. Larry Lively

    Sadly, The only three things gained from going to war in Iraq is,
    1.) Dick Cheney and his corporate buddies got a stonger hold on control of the Oil.
    2.) Black Water and Haliburton, Got to take millions of our tax payer's money.
    3.) George Bush, got revenge on the guy that tried to kill his dad.

    Other than that it's been a Total waste and Loss of way to much for our Families of our Military personal and Our Country!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  115. Chris Haney(St. Louis)

    Absolutly nothing Jack besides a mountain of debt, exhausted soldiers from back to back deployments and unnecessary deaths and the country probably worses now than when we invaded.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  116. Dick Purser, New Mexico

    Accomplishments of the Iraq war for America
    (1) We lost the opportunity to win in Afghanistan, perhaps irrevocably.
    (2) We destroyed any possible counterweight to Iran in the Middle East.
    (3) We lost our moral credibility in the world, probably for good.
    (4) We have created a divide between our professional armed services and the civilian population whose effects no one can foresee.
    (5) We set the nation on the road to bankruptcy.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  117. Mike D.

    By invading Iraq, America has gained absolutely nothing, outside of financial gain for a number of defense contracting corporations. George W. Bush, at least, owes a deep apology for his disregard for the American and Iraqi people, the Iraq veterans and their families. His selfish "decision" was hands-down the greatest fiscal and geopolitical error in American history. I will never have any respect for him or the Republican Party, as long as they continue to whitewash this horrific blunder, and misdirect dissent toward the new administration.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  118. Chris Perkins

    In order to know what was gained we would first have to know what the war was about. Economics? Humanitarian Crimes? Religion?
    Too many 'slight of hand tricks' in this one. I too am curious what was 'really' gained. Ask the Iraq people (all of them) "What is better or worse now?" That is the only way we will know if something has improved or been gained.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  119. Bill Hoch

    The best way to answer this question is with another...what have we lost? Over 4500 American lives, tens of thousands wounded, hundreds of billions of dollars, and the time we spent in Iraq when we should have been focused on Afghanistan. I shake the hand of every service man or woman who serve. I support them, but I never supported the war in Iraq which I'm convinced was nothing but a family vendetta. Bottom line...gains...ZERO!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  120. John Kelley

    What did we gain by invading Iraq?
    1) The undying graditude of the state of Israel
    2) Iraqi Oil – Billions of gallons
    3) Creating the worst blunder in American foreign policy by taking our eyes off of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and invading Iraq.
    4) A trillion dollar debt
    5) And the possible wisdom to think before leaping into another invasion – I hope

    September 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  121. Cecil Jones

    The only thing gained from this war with Iraq was "Regime Change." We said goodbye to Saddam and Sons, but now Iraq has chaos. Pres. Bush got revenge for his Daddy. War also established a working solution for Iran and Armedenijad. All's fair in love and war and we quickly forget.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  122. Ken Gilliland

    It made a lot of well-connected companies very rich by profiting on supplying the war effort and " rebuilding" Iraq.... Take for instance KBR's(aka Halliburton) contract to do the US military's laundry for which they are charging us the taxpapers $100 a load. Several of these companies have been charged with defrauding the government, but their connections allow them to continue their contracts, because it supports the war effort

    September 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  123. Roger Josselyn

    The aftermath of WWII was the rebuilding of some of those who were the most hated, e.g. Germany and Japan. South Korea and Vietnam are today healthy competitive nations. I say this to point out that one of war's consequences is to bring about enormous change. Isn't it possible that the Iraq/Afghanistan wars will bef the first major moves toward democracy in the heart of the most undemocratic and potentially destructive part of our international society?

    September 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  124. Tim from Canada

    The U.S. was able to have eroded its credibility through out the world by going to war with Iraq. As A Canadian I was embarrased that we did not stand shoulder to shoulder with you in a conflict but in hind sight our leaders where correct in not following George Bush and his band of fools. The human cost and financial cost that the U.S. has endured is not something that should ever be forgotten and accomplishments, I dont know, theonly true sucess seems to be getting out of there. I am glad that our armed forces did help your forces in Iraq behind the scene with supplies and intelligence. The fact that your soldiers did not have proper equipment and even bullets at times should be a true reflection on the leadership they were forced to follow. I am glad that soldier to solider the Canadians stood up and supplied as they could.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  125. Robert

    What we accomplished is this. We have established air bases throughout Iraq which can be used as staging areas for an attack against Iran, if necessary, unless they stop enriching uranium and producing missiles which can reach Europe, Israel, Russia, United kingdom and the U.S.. Such bases also exist in Afghanistan, and in Uzebekistan and Azerbaizan. So, you might say Iran is between Iraq and a hard place. But, let's pray for peace.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  126. Deborah Samons

    Our country has not gained anything. George the 2nd has the admiration he his father, for going in to try to finish the job George the 1st did not do.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  127. Sandra Ferguson

    Why doesn't the media discuss Rumsfeld's role in going to war in Iraq. His reasoning; there weren't enough targets in Afganistan. By attacking Iraq, we would get a lot of notice.

    What did we gain, nothing. However, the independent contractors gained a lot. As George Bush said, "A war is good for the economy." We also solidified the hate the muslim world. The American public is so ill informed about what really went on. We also gained a lot of debt for two wars that were not paid for. The Republicans would have us take it out of Social Security and Medicare.

    We gained a lot of knowledge about traumatic brain injuries, at the expense of our troops. We should be so ashamed. What has happened to real American values?

    September 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  128. Jean Combs

    We gained nothing at all by going to war in Iraq. Some will argue that we needed to get rid of Saddam Hussein. But, did we really need to do it this way and at this time? Was it worth diverting our attention from the real terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11? Was it worth all of the lives lost? Iraq was a totally unnecessary and unprovoked war. And we will have the stain of that mistake on our hands forever.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  129. Chas

    Isn't that the saddest part of it?

    September 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  130. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    Thousands of American lives and tens of thousands wounded. A trillion dollars or more and that is also continuing. Most of all you lost the trust and respect of your freinds and allies. It will be a long time before Nato countries go to a fight just because America said to.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  131. Carl in San Diego

    A more unstablized Middle East.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  132. USAF RETIRED 2005

    Jack you ask what did we gain, absolutely nothing as a matter of fact all those that sent over 4,000 brave AMERICANS to death need to personally call all their families and ask for true forgiveness-especially Mr. McCain since to only thing he is consumed with is the surge and whether it worked “NO JOHN IT DID NOT” because it never brought a government-sadly it is not our job to own the WORLD

    September 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  133. ron huntwork

    we didn't go to war to keep oil flowing ! It was to stop the flow , 2 oil men in the white house . I think it is plain to see who was the beneficiaries in this conflict .

    September 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  134. johhnie c

    We gained just what we gonna gain win the republicans take over the house,more failure!!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  135. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    As a combat Marine from another long ago 1960's ideological useless war, we obviously have learned nothing about mankind and virtue.

    Ask not only the families of the 4,400 U.S. soldiers, but also the 100,000 Iraqi families who lost loved ones about the human experience of enlightenment and consciousness. After thousands of centuries of waging war on one another, we (mankind) must find a better way around our ideological differences.

    For 700 billion dollars, our government could have given Saddam 100 billion to get lost or set up a democratic government and avoided all this tragedy.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  136. Shumon R

    Here are list of things you got from Iraq:
    1.Many thousand of dead service personnel.
    2.Many thousands of suffering from PTSD.
    3.George Bush got his revenge. After all, Saddam Hussein tried to kill his father.
    Philadelpia, PA

    September 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  137. Bill Burke

    To inexactly repeat what I heard someone say yesterday, "We took a country that was a dictatorship and turned it into a failed democracy, that may soon have a full-scale civil war."

    Heckuva job!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  138. Jay in Canada

    You guys gained a worldwide reputation as a country who will pick up guns and use them to get what they want (Duh, oil).It will take decades to undo the damage the Iraq War did to your once good name. Next time you fill up at the gas station, think of how many brave kids had to die so you could save a nickel per gallon.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  139. Duke Miller

    This Vietnam Veteran feels we gained exactly as much from going to war with Iraq as we did going to war in Vietnam.

    Had Bush or his cohorts ever served in Vietnam, we never would have pursued such a ludicrous course. The only good news to come out of the conflict is we wasted 52,000 fewer American lives in Iraq than 'Nam.

    Very soon Afghanistan will become Obama's Vietnam. When will we ever learn?

    September 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  140. James C

    Unfortunately all we've gained is more debt, more casualties, and thousands and thousands of families suffering from the loss of a loved one.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  141. michael

    we got the russian and french oil companies out of there or did we?

    September 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  142. Conor in Chicago

    We gained the appreciation and admiration of Osama Bin Laden who stated from the on set that his plan was to bankrupt us by drawing us into a protracted war in the Middle East.

    Cheers to you Mr. Bin Laden, and you're welcome.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  143. Mario Golden

    The U.S. gained new and effective leadership with a focus more on world peace than war.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  144. Jim, Nicholson, PA

    The country has gained nothing at all. Worse than nothing if you consider the loss of blood, treasure, and our standing in the world. Saddam was an evil thug, but we had him contained with north and south no-fly zones, and many of our own generals considered him a paper tiger. So the decision to commit this invasion was driven by nothing but lies from the Bush administration who lied about Saddam being behind 9/11, Al Qaeda in Iraq, WMD, paying for the war with Iraq oil revenue, and after the war started we still got lies, about torture, and mission accomplished. Maybe we should start following a certain document called the Constitution, which states that wars are to be declared by Congress. Otherwise this unholy mess will likely be repeated.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  145. David M, in Miami, Florida


    Absolutely nothing for America but much for the Bush-Cheney organization. It wasn't a war but a venture in the form of an invasion, the result of which left Iran the winner going into the future and Bush-Cheney et al winners of the venture. The big mistake was that being historically uninformed, the supposed;y slam-dunk operation opened a hornet's nest of warring Islamic factions and helped Islamic militants gain access to new territory from which to operate in their global Jihad. Sad!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  146. Jim Blevins

    To quote an old song - "War, what's it good for? Absolutely nothing". This was known before we started. Some Americans still don't believe it. This is just another point of proof. At least we are mostly out and our activities are scaled way back.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    September 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  147. Steve Howard, NC

    Nothing positive, only further destabilization of the Middle East. Iraq is an artificial country created by the West at the end of World War I, composed of ethnic and religious groups that have hated each other for centuries. The thin veneer of secularism Iraq experienced for the past few decades was only created by these groups' mutual fear of a monster like Saddam Hussein. The ultimate question is just how much blood will be spilled before Iraq is inevitably partitioned into Shiastan, Sunnistan and Kurdistan.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  148. Walt in Illinois

    We again gained indespensable knowledge about sending our precious (at least I think it is precious!), people and treasure to change the hearts and minds of of a far off people. Bush pointedly downplayed that as the goal, but it had to be done to transform Iraq, and we didn't do it. We will never admit that we don't know what we don't know. How many language and cultural experts did we have (few). I doubt if we will learn the lesson as long as we have a poor economy with young people ready to join the military to get a job and be abused by generals. The draft would have radically shortened this war.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  149. Yoncey

    The U.S people gained absolutely nothing from this war other than more possible hate from other countries and a huge debt.
    The U.S government and Military (not the people)gained greatly by having more troops surgically implanted in that area for future wars with Iran and other possible so called threats in that area.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  150. hank

    Less than nothing.....only hatred and spite from many americans and the most of the rest of the world at the expense of far too many lives and treasure.

    But heh, not one american politician died or was harmed physically or financially, in many cases many gained because of this war. What irony!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  151. Bob in Tulsa

    The answer lies in a tangled web of money and behind-the-scenes deal making by very powerful and connected families. America was taken to war to fulfill the financial desires of businessmen and the security needs of a ruling family that needed the presence and power of the U.S. military to defuse a growing threat to their power. We know that the pretext was a sham. Perhaps one day a skilled investigator will uncover the truth, and it will likely be information that will be stunning in scope.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  152. Nick San Diego

    What it did was Strengthen Iran

    September 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  153. Stephen

    Perhaps knowledge and experience towards preventing another war. Maybe if we didn't invade Iraq, we might have invaded Iran or North Korea. By the example of the Iraq war, we'll now know you don't blindly enter into a foreign conflict.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  154. Harry

    Is that a trick question? There's not one person on this planet that, if they're honest, would say anything positive about the massacre of our country's resources, OUR YOUNG MEN & WOMEN and of course financially. Everyone that was involved with voting for and justifying the war in Iraq should be deported and there name removed from all literature within our great country.
    One other quick comment, we wouldn't have the problems we presently have with Iran if Saddam was left in power and that's fact.

    Clinton Twp, Mi

    September 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  155. Conor in Chicago

    We gained the destruction of our economy, ceded control of our government to corporations, sustained over 4,000 KIA's and over 50,000 combat injuries, removed the natural geo-strategic barrier to Persian domination of the Middle East, squashed the good will enjoyed by the US post 9/11, unnecessarily divided a nation so that vested corporate interests could get rich at the expense of social services in the US and made Iraq safe for cronyism, corporate greed, and Islamofascism. But hey, other than that it was the right thing to do.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  156. Renee - Peoria, Illinois

    That's a question you need to pose to Bush and Cheney. They went out of their way to make up a reason to start the war. Then they fell over themselves reinventing reasons when the WMD excuse fell through. Either they're completely psychotic (not a big reach in Cheney's case) or there was another reason from the beginning that we were never told. But all the money Cheney made over there should be a pretty good hint.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  157. Troy

    JACK......I just hope that all the training we gave the Iraqi soldiers, and the billions and billions of dollars that were spent and the lives that were lost were no in vain.... thats all we need is them to turn on us and use all that training against us.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  158. Tom {Indiana}

    The only people can help Iraq is the iraq people .

    September 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  159. Brian

    Very, very, very expensive OIL. Oh yeah, that was acronym for Operation Iraqi Liberation. They dropped that because it sounded kinda bad. I can't see it any other way.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  160. Gail, Plano TX

    Shorrt and not sweet, Jack. Absolutely nothing!!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  161. Richard, Kankakee, Illinois

    We showed the world that our country with state of the art technology from the 21 Century and our weapons could not beat a country with weapons and technology from the 1940's, we are 50 years ahead of them and we still lost! We should be sadden that they held us off until we had to leave, and we should be ashamed for what we have done to the world, and the legacy of the United States of America!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  162. Carmen A. Cennamo

    Stick a fork in the democrats, they're done.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  163. lynnej in nc

    Nothing but a more powerful Iran. They were scared of Saddam Hussein. Now he's gone and we have to actually deal with them.

    Let's face it, as bad as he was, he was glue that held the stability of the region in tact. Sometimes it is best to deal with the devil you know instead of the devil you don't know.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  164. juan Dumont

    Jack Let's ask those with Halliburton Co., I bet you they have gained
    plenty and will continue to do so

    Juan D.
    Los Angeles

    September 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  165. Surf Dog San Diego

    We have completely destabilized the Middle East. Iran emerges as a growing power, soon to have nuclear and chemical-biological weapons, and missiles that will be able to strike as far away as UK and all Europe, Israel, Arab capitals in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as cities in India and Pakistan. Our long-term debt is increased by trillions of dollars when you count the cost of caring for nearly 35,000 maimed and hundreds of thousands more with PTSD. Our military is trashed–we have to rebuild our tanks, helicopters, and other equipment from the ground up. That will create jobs–but more inflation, since there is no product that goes into the economy. Saudi Arabians are the largest owners of Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp, which shows once again how deeply the ties are between oil and the GOP (Bush, flying Osama bin Laden's family out of the US the day after 9/11, holding hands with Arab oil sheikhs). Corruption unlimited, debt piled high, and our credibility and power down the drain.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  166. John

    Before any conversation regarding what was gained from the war, there is the somber consideration about what was lost in the war: over 4,000 U.S. brave men and women, as well as over 100,000 Iraqi lives. We truly won't know the full impact of our consequences until a decade or so; and it won't be divulged as a philosophical question in a classroom nor as a page of statistics. It will be in the acts of a young boy or girl who has grown up with the U.S. occupying Iraq over the past 7 years, and, because they have lived with constant violence and death all of their young lives, they too will become the type of individual we are trying to eradicate from the Middle East today. So what have we gained, you ask? We have gained the next generation of terrorists, nothing more.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  167. Troy

    oh yea..... they learned nothing, Jack

    September 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  168. Mike, NH

    Even though Saddam Hussein didn't have WMDs at the time of our attack, he had them in the past and was actively pursuing reconstituting the programs. It was just a matter of time before the porous sanctions broke down. He had used WMDs on his own population and Iran. If he had them he would use them again. We gained a measure of stability knowning the a madman no longer controlled such weapons. And in fact, the Iraqis now have a chance at self-determination that they never really had before. Basically, we played the role of France in our own struggle for independence. Without france the American Revolution would have failed. Without us, democracy would never happen in Iraq.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  169. Carlos in Los Angeles

    "We established a flourishing democracy, found and destroyed the WMDs, and once and for all ended the sinister partnership between Saddam and Al-Qaeda."

    That will someday be the version of history written in GOP textbooks.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  170. Geno


    In a word....NOTHING! We didnt gain anything, WE LOST!

    We lost 4400 American lives and thousands more ruined for life, we lost $700 billion dollars that would be going a long way right now to help OUR nations infrastucture rebuilding , we lost the stability in that region, we lost our stature and integrity and the trust of the rest of the world, and we lost our national unity.

    But...Condy, Rummy and DICK and their corporate cronies won big!

    Geno, Glenside PA

    September 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  171. Gary

    Our forces have deposed a dictator in an oil-rich middle east country. While that is a worthy objective anytime, as Secretary Gates stated, 'it will always be clouded by the false premise under which we went to war'. As bad as Saddam was, he did keep the Iranians in check. Had we not gone to Iraq, we could have concentrated our efforts in Afghanistan where the terrorists who attacked us were hiding. We could have kept Saddam in check with the "no fly" zones and other means. Getting rid of Saddam, great, perhaps establishing a fledgling democracy, fine, but capturing and killing Osama Bin Laden.....priceless!!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  172. James

    The war in Iraq was illegal and therefore it made the USA a rogue nation. If (or when) there was a bigger military power, they would be justified in doing exactly the same thing to the USA, destroy the country, topple the government, hang the president and kill 10% of the civilian population. You think its bad now? try 70% unemployment and the same percentage without running water. The war showed the USA's true colors, and they are not pretty.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  173. katincal

    What did we gain from the war in Iraq? A lot of damaged U.S. soldiers and a lot of damaged people of Iraq. This was truly a sad event that took place and many of these people will never recover from this. The U.S. should have been focused on Osama bin Laden and not Iraq. What a horrible waste of life.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  174. Mike

    America got revenge. The country was hungry to lash out at Bin Laden in any way that it could. Unfortunately, George Bush also had some old scores to settle with Saddam Husein and he decided to try to kill two birds with one stone.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  175. RobGR

    "What did we gain?", no, the question should be "who gained?" and the answer is ding ding ding, "HALLIBURTON!"

    But that's not news, because we all know that. I just wonder how much Dick Cheney made off of it.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  176. Karl Harvey

    It ensured that the American public collective conscience is malleable, gullible and easily manipulated into agreeing with what-ever the government wants.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  177. Brian Smith

    The war in Iraq provided hundreds of thousands of jobs for US Citizens, for 7 years! Just think what the unemployment rate would be today if it wasn't for these two wars.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  178. Adam

    Tragically, 4500 deaths, tens of thousands injured. A torn nation. NOW, Democracy is NOT a word in Iraq's vocabulary. WE sold them on such, they VOTED, six months ago, still NO govt. NO authority, just more sectarian divide. Civil War if Maliki stays. Do you NOT feel empty in this?Where is the JOY of victory? There is none. Iraq is in more danger now than ever before. OUR PRESENCE kept them safe. What a tragic waste ,trying to bring in Western FREEDOM to barbaric ideologies.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  179. Andrew Amherst NY

    The US gained almost nothing from it. But the 30 million Iraqis, gained freedom.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  180. Chris

    Massive debt and a ruined generation of soldiers, sailors and Marines. Nice decision all around.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  181. Karl Harvey

    It ensured that the American public collective conscience is malleable, gullible and easy manipulated into doing what ever the government wants.
    Banff, Alberta

    September 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  182. Sarina

    The U.S. didn't gain anything by going to war in Iraq. President G.W. Bush and his administration could not capture Bin Laden and bring him to justice. In 2003, the Executive Branch decided that Saddam Hussein was an easy victory to "save face" in the eyes of Americans and G.W. could be a hero in his father's eyes by retaliating the unsuccessful attempt on H.W.'s life in 1993.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  183. Joe in Laramie, Wyo.

    The U.S. earned the ill-will of the entire Muslim world for a long time to come with Bush's self-named" Crusade".

    September 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  184. Michael (Winipeg, Canada)


    The Middle East is divided among tribes and religous sects. There is no national loyalty.

    Bush and Cheney did not understand that without Saddams brutal hand Iraq could never be "stable". Sad but true. He was also the counterbalance to Iran! So they foolishly removed the man that the very US created to balance the power in that region.

    With Saddam gone Iran has been freed by the US and its allies to behave the way it is today!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  185. David - Cleveland, OH

    We will never know for sure, because we do not know what the world would have been like if Sadam Hussein would have stayed in power. It is easy to focus on the negatives. Only time and history will paint the answer.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  186. Chris

    Effect: removal of a tyrant, imposition of a democracy.

    You may rightfully question whether this is a good thing. Time will tell.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  187. Annie, Atlanta

    Gain? I’d like to know how much richer those in the Bush cabal are now than they were before the war (and where’s that $9 Billion in cash?). We were deceived, and deserve not only the truth, but to witness the war crimes prosecutions.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  188. Dennis

    I believe that the 99% of the posts here says it all. It is the same opinion of EVERYBODY that I talk with. I am not sure how any intelligent, non-self serving person could come to any other conclusion. The corporations got theirs and your chidren and grandchildren will get to pay for it for years. Republicans are already plans to raid your Social Security and Medicare to pay for it. This is money that YOU paid in folks. Do you want YOUR money and YOUR future security to go to Halliburton, Blackwater, GE, etc.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm |

    BUSH even claimed 'VICTORY' years ago, and look at how many people have been wounded and killed since then! WE HAD NO BUSINESS OVER THERE ANYWAY! OBAMA never said it was over! He said just the opposite. When the VIETNAM WAR was announced 'OVER', there were still some strings that had to be tied! Some troops had to stay back then! The important thing is, OBAMA pledged to start a drawdown at this time and he's kept his word! He knows he could'nt bring them all out at ONCE! And you're still STAGING COMPLAINTS!

    September 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  190. John Brown

    Freed the people of Iraq. We spent alot of time helping them develop their future to incluce Constitution and security forces. God Bless our Troops

    September 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  191. Mark

    Compassion is supposedly a human trait, if you lack it maybe you should re-evaluate your self. Ask the thousands of Kurds that were saved from contunued nerve gas attacks, or maybe the weekend hangings at soccer fields of any political dissidents and 'un-desireables', ask the kuwaties how they sleep at night, ask your self how much you'd give to stop your neighbor from being tortured and abused. Open your eyes and ary thinking about others once in a while, try thinking a little biger than your personal bottom line.

    September 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm |