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Was the Iraq war worth it?

09:39 UK time, Tuesday, 31 August 2010

President Obama has hailed the end of US combat operations in Iraq, saying the US has paid a "a huge price" to "put Iraq's future in its peoples' hands". What will the mission change mean for Iraq?

In a speech delivered in a rare Oval Office address, he said he was "awed" by the sacrifice of the US military. But he said America's "most urgent task" was now to "restore our economy".

He said the US would continue to support Iraq's government and people.

Do you believe invading Iraq and the war that followed was worth it? Is it premature for the US to change its combat mission? Will the change end the country's current political stalemate? Or will it be seen as a victory to the insurgents?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

    NO.

  • Comment number 2.

    ask the oil barons they will tell you!!!

  • Comment number 3.

    Absolutely NOT.

    Billions wasted, hundreds of lives lost, thousands of lives ruined just in this country and all for Tony Bliars vanity.

  • Comment number 4.

    1. - NO!
    2. - NO.
    3. - NO!
    4. - NO.

  • Comment number 5.

    Possibly. If a Middle Eastern country manages to implement a democracy that works and is popular then it would have been. It might catch on and the lives of millions of down-trodden people could improve.
    The likelihood of that happening, however, is rather slim at best.
    It certainly hasn't been worth it for the hundreds of thousands who have been killed in the war and the unrest afterwards.
    The number of young people who have become radicalised because of our invasion might prove to be very costly too.

  • Comment number 6.

    "Was the Iraq war worth it?"

    No!

    They've managed to turn a country which was of no danger to us whatsoever into a haven for anti-western Islamic extremists (and - Dodgy Dossiers notwithstanding - this lack of threat was well known to our 'Leaders') .

    Well done guys!!!!

    Oh, and before anyone starts bleating about brutal dictators, unless you're going to attack all countries with brutal regimes (China will do for starters), Saddam was and remains none of our business.

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm sure it was worth it for the arms companies and all the other various contractors who got their pound of flesh.

    For everyone else, not so much.

  • Comment number 8.

    No, not even a little bit worth it.
    The London School of Economics estimate the best part of 1 million people lost their lives as a direct consequence of the invasion.
    Genocide by any definition; and those that lead us into it swan about the globe getting rich.

  • Comment number 9.

    This is a really loaded question !! in a word No ; look at all the thousands of lives lost for what ?? Sadam was a tyrant but he controlled the country now its a shambles as Afganistan will be ; when will everyone realise to leave countries alone taht do not conform in our eyes !! lots of other foreign dictators have told the West and the USA where to go GREAT

  • Comment number 10.

    For the Bush family, Tony blair, the NeoCons and weapon manufacturers, YES, for the rest of us taxpaying suckers, NO!

  • Comment number 11.

    It was certainly worth it for the Blair gang, who made their fortunes out of it. Pity they had to murder, maim and exile millions of innocent people to do it though.

  • Comment number 12.

    Knowing if it's worth it or not will depend on what happens now.

    I hope to God it was.

  • Comment number 13.

    Too early to say.

  • Comment number 14.

    Well, Up side; Iraq is as corrupt as we all are, we are not so blatant about it but just ask our MPs. It has a democracy based of the Western model-i.e those with the clout pull the strings. The oil barons are satisfied and Bush has managed to destabilise the middle east.

    Down side; Iraq can't rule itself, its lost over a million people and more than 5 million people have fled and won't be coming back in a hurry + I don't know how many American soldiers died for a pointless cause, but at least America won't have to pay their pensions. I don't know how many American soldiers were wounded like their colleagues in the Korean and Vietnamese wars and what the effect is going to be on their families and America itself. I can remember the last lot and the statements made by the film makers.Nato nearly had a breaking point.

    Question, how will America react if another despot rises in the area?

    All of it so pointless, because despots die and people can sort their problems out without foreign interference.

  • Comment number 15.

    Surely the question should be "Is Iraq a better place now than it was immediately prior to the sacking of Baghdad?" and for answers the BBC should rollout its not inconsiderable reports of recent atrocities, or, conduct one of its 'infamous' on-the-spot referenda.

  • Comment number 16.

    Was the Iraq war worth it?

    Not for the British people, but then it was never our war.

    For those who claim it was worth fighting as a 'war of liberation' - I presume you'll all be lobbying for future British military in Zimbabwe, Burma and North Korea - all of which operate regimes that are significantly more oppressive than Iraq under Saddam.

  • Comment number 17.

    Worth it?You must be joking.It has cost this country billions which we didnt have and it has cost the lives of hundreds of soldiers from this country and thousands from the US. The country will revert back to type when all the foreigners have gone because that is what they are like and a new Saddam will emerge and carry on where the last was stopped. When will the West learn,the middle east has nothing in common with us bar oil-which they have a great deal of and we dont.That was what the war was about.Saddam decided to try and sell oil in Euros to get round sanctions instead of Dollars and the US didnt like it.The buyers of this oil were Germany and France who true to form were involved in double dealing like they always are just look to see how the EU is carved up.The war was a big mistake when it started and it remains the same today and the UK were the donkeys for agreeing to fight in it.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'll go with 1,2,3,4. NO

    It COULD have been worth it IF there had been some thought i.e. what are we going to do after the battle, how do we engage with a culturally very different people, how do we deal with the rampant sectarianism within the country, how do we ensure the political and security voids are filled. Basically what are we going to do after the military moves in. None of the politicans involved had a reputation for actually thinking so it is no surprise all that has been achieved it a brutal tyrant has been removed and replaced with brutal anarchy.
    Hardly an improvement for the common man involved in all aspects. I am sure some people have benefitted e.g. corrupt politicians, security consultants etc. but I don't reckon their benefits were worth the cost in lives past, present and future.

  • Comment number 19.

    Was the Iraq war worth it?

    Only the Iraqis can answer that question.

    And of those Iraqis its only the Kurds, Assyrians, Marsh Arabs and the Shias whose opinions matter, given it was them who suffered unfairly at the hands of Saddam Hussain and his minority Sunni Regime.

    In saying that, I think it a fair guess that the usual "blah, blah, blah" left wing anti-American brigade will hijack this HYS as another convenient conduit to vent their socially acceptable racist attitudes.

  • Comment number 20.

    We allowed ourselves to be invaders and agressors of another country by a labour goverment and a prime minister.Harold wilson said no to joining the vietnam war and stood up to the americans.We allowed the war on terror to become a war against nation states and not a war against terrorists.Iraq had to pay and we did`nt just invade for the oil.There are many like saddam but we knew how easy it would be strategically to win a war against iraq.This is one reason we made a mess after the war in making the iraq society a fully functioning one.The news reports and pictures from iraq have shown the killing of civilians and british and american troops torturing and humiliating prisoners of war. A labour goverment did this and now muslims and non muslims hate the british.What do we expect if we still feel there is prestige in military campaigns of invasion rather in keeping our troops home for defence.

  • Comment number 21.

    Were you there before, during and after?
    I was not.
    Ergo, my uninformed "NO" is at best, spurious.

  • Comment number 22.

    Question:

    Was the Iraq war worth it?





    Race Equality Secret Service (RESS)Response:

    Yes, the Iraq war was "worth it".

    The Iraq war was "worth it" for the White Supremacist Racists because it gave them an opportunity to add value to White Supremacist ideology and increase the POWER of White Supremacist Racists in positions of trust and authority.

    Arabic people have been classified as Racially Inferior.

    Does that make sense?

    RESS (Race Equality Secret Service)

  • Comment number 23.

    Like a hole in the head
    Nuff man and woman dead
    Middle East turned dread

  • Comment number 24.

    Yes it was and history will judge it to be a success. You anti war fools lost the argument. Get over it.

  • Comment number 25.

    This can only be answered by the iraqi civilians. The ones who wanted saddam removed. The oppressed and tortured by saddam. The people who feared for their lives every day because their leader may test more WMD's on them

  • Comment number 26.

    19. At 11:38am on 31 Aug 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    Was the Iraq war worth it?

    Only the Iraqis can answer that question.

    And of those Iraqis its only the Kurds, Assyrians, Marsh Arabs and the Shias whose opinions matter, given it was them who suffered unfairly at the hands of Saddam Hussain and his minority Sunni Regime.

    In saying that, I think it a fair guess that the usual "blah, blah, blah" left wing anti-American brigade will hijack this HYS as another convenient conduit to vent their socially acceptable racist attitudes.

    -----



    Good on you,

    By the way the Padaung, Lisu, Jing Phaw, and Akha tribes of Burmac are all suffering serious oppression, verging on genocide.

    I take it you support Immediate British intervention in Burma?

    The Matabele people of Zimbabwe are generally treated as second class citizens by their government - Of course you would be demanding immediate British military action to rectify this?

    And in North Korea, average citizens go missing everyday, never to be seen again. (and they've got real, actual weapons of mass destruction).

    When are the heroic right going to ride charitably, and with no thought for themselves, to the rescue of the North Koreans?

  • Comment number 27.

    It was certainly worth it for ex-military mates of mine, who were making between £750 and £1000 per day with private security firms. Many have bought houses in UK and abroad, for cash!! The same is true for those mates now operating in Kabul. These wars have become cash cows for them.
    Sadly, the poor populations of these countries have seen their standard of living plummet, if that is possible!! Having lived in Iraq (and not in the sumptuous, palatial conditions in the Green Zone, I hasten to add), I have first-hand experience.
    The Iraq war was not worth it, in humanitarian terms. The rich construction company owners, oil barons and private security firms have profitted on the misery and pain of others.
    In time, history will reflect badly on those who perpetrated these terrible wars.

  • Comment number 28.

    4,416 - U.S. Military deaths
    179 - UK Military deaths
    139 - Other coalition deaths
    31,000+ - Coalition injuries


    4,734 - Total coalition deaths
    100,000+ - Documented Iraqi civilian deaths

    $1,073,000,000,000 - Cost to coalition so far

    0 - Weapons of Mass Destruction found


    No, the Iraq War was not "worth it".

  • Comment number 29.

    NO.

    Bliar and Bush have made this world a more dangerous place than ever. Their actions have had the complete opposite effect with more anti-western fanatics willing to take action than ever before.

    The two of them should face war crime trials.

  • Comment number 30.

    19. At 11:38am on 31 Aug 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    Was the Iraq war worth it?

    Only the Iraqis can answer that question.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Perhaps their opinions should have been sought prior to the invasion.

  • Comment number 31.

    At 11:50am on 31 Aug 2010, krokodil wrote:
    Yes it was and history will judge it to be a success. You anti war fools lost the argument. Get over it
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pro-War Fools can go to hell
    ignorant suckers!

    Nobody can keep justifying a war for years on end after the initial jingoism

  • Comment number 32.

    Does anyone really still believe that this whole debacle wasnt about America securing oil supplies under a puppet government in Iraq?

    Isnt it funny how all those worried about the freedoms of the Iraqi population dont give a damn about what is going on in Zimbabwe, but then again there is no oil in Zimbabwe........

  • Comment number 33.

    Of course it was worth it: for the few individuals who made a whole heap of money out of it. For the rest, particularly the people of Iraq, it will take decades to recover any sense of stability and peace.

    Wars are not fought for any other reason than to make a few people wealthy, at the expense of many more.

  • Comment number 34.

    I don't know better ask the Iraqis

  • Comment number 35.

    The civilian cost of lives is in the millions
    The country's infrastructure has been destroyed
    Sectarian violence that did not exist prior to invasion has claimed the lives of thousands

    The case for war was never made it was a media spin mission from day 1 when Blair agreed with Bush to go into Iraq and secure the nations oil reserves and all because Saddam dared to tell the Americans to go keep the dollar and started trading oil by the Euro per barrel. This had a detrimental effect on the value of the US dollar and sealed Saddams fate.

    Blair is now working for a middle east oil company!
    Perhaps we should have asked a British Weapons inspector that oversaw the destruction of saddams wmd programs following the first gulf war we would have known more, oh but Dr Kelly Killed himself.

    It doesnt matter how you cut this cake its still a pile of bilious crap.
    British people like myself should hang their heads in shame that we allowed our Government to take part in this murderous conflict for profit of the industrial military complex in the united states.

    WOOT WOOT Saddams dead, and now we have al queda in iraq. We have generations of Iraqi's that have grown up seeing western tyranny in there own land. People killed for no credible reason.

    ALL OF HUMAN BEHAVIOUR IS A CHOICE WE CHOSE TO KILL FOR A MANUFACTURED REASON. WOOPIE. Weldone. I hope you feel proud.

  • Comment number 36.

    26. At 11:53am on 31 Aug 2010, Nok wrote:
    19. At 11:38am on 31 Aug 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    Was the Iraq war worth it?

    Only the Iraqis can answer that question.

    And of those Iraqis its only the Kurds, Assyrians, Marsh Arabs and the Shias whose opinions matter, given it was them who suffered unfairly at the hands of Saddam Hussain and his minority Sunni Regime.

    In saying that, I think it a fair guess that the usual "blah, blah, blah" left wing anti-American brigade will hijack this HYS as another convenient conduit to vent their socially acceptable racist attitudes.

    -----
    Good on you,

    By the way the Padaung, Lisu, Jing Phaw, and Akha tribes of Burmac are all suffering serious oppression, verging on genocide.

    I take it you support Immediate British intervention in Burma?

    The Matabele people of Zimbabwe are generally treated as second class citizens by their government - Of course you would be demanding immediate British military action to rectify this?

    And in North Korea, average citizens go missing everyday, never to be seen again. (and they've got real, actual weapons of mass destruction).

    When are the heroic right going to ride charitably, and with no thought for themselves, to the rescue of the North Koreans?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In answer to your (I am guessing) sarcastic questions...

    Nope! Couldn't give a rat's a**e about the Matabele, the North Koreans, or anyone in Burma. In fact, my ability to feel any empathy for anyone outside of the UK generally went down the pan during the dark, dark years of the Labour Government.

    I can't be bothered to go into details, but suffice it to say, that I believe that we have enough issues here in the UK and I frankly would prefer to see as much effort put into building up this fine nation as Labour did bombing the day lights out of others.

    As for what happens to foreigners in their own lands under repression from their own regimes, I won't be loosing any sleep over it.

  • Comment number 37.


    The country will revert back to type when all the foreigners have gone because that is what they are like and a new Saddam will emerge and carry on where the last was stopped.
    --------------
    I certainly hope Iraq "reverts to type."



    Iraq, known in Classical Antiquity as Mesopotamia, was home to some of the oldest civilizations in the world,with a cultural history of over 10,000 year
    Hence its common epithet, the Cradle of Civilization.

    History in Iraq didn't start in 1979!

  • Comment number 38.

    Of course it was for oil. And?

    Is anybody in the rich west complaining about their comfortable standard of living garnered from wars through the centuries?

    We haven't had one of those petrol boycotts, where people whine about the price of a litre and don't buy petrol for a day, since before the invasion.

    Let's just assume everybody saying the war was all bad is happy for petrol prices to increase substantially and give the oil companies the go-ahead to raise them.

  • Comment number 39.

    No, nor is the war in Afghanistan. Nor will be the wars with Iran or North Korea when we finally fashion an excuse to attack them.

    The US and the UK are the most aggressive countries in the World, yet we try to believe it is all justified because we are quashing "terrorism".

    We are the terrorists here.

  • Comment number 40.

    30. At 12:01pm on 31 Aug 2010, Mr Cholmondley-Warner wrote:

    19. At 11:38am on 31 Aug 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    Was the Iraq war worth it?

    Only the Iraqis can answer that question.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Perhaps their opinions should have been sought prior to the invasion.

    --------------------

    The iraqis wanted liberation. They wanted it years ago but we let them down.

  • Comment number 41.

    , Three Million Posse On Employed In A Dub wrote: At 11:50am on 31 Aug 2010, krokodil wrote: Yes it was and history will judge it to be a success You anti war fools lost the argument. Get over it---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pro-War Fools can go to hell gnorant suckers! Nobody can keep justifying a war for years on end after the initial jingoism. Oh get you. Touched a nerve? The war happened...we won. And the only ones crying about it are fools like you ;)

  • Comment number 42.

    We tagged along whilst Uncle Sam bombed the hell out of a largely defenceless country. Iraq had zero air power, no WMDs at all, and was just recovering from when we had already beaten it half to death in the Gulf War. Still, we reduced it to rubble, destabilised it, and installed a puppet 'democracy' that will be overthrown and replaced by another tyrant the second the US troops leave for good. Rule Britannia.

  • Comment number 43.

    It was worth it to Halliburton.
    And to all the other contractors who are getting contracts for rebuilding or providing security. It was a big business deal, of course.
    And to the people who forced the invasion without consulting their "democratic" consituencies, it was worth it if they profited.
    To the Iraqis, no, according to the Iraqis themselves, but no one cares what they think.

  • Comment number 44.

    Political Confusion :
    Weapons Of Mass Distraction
    George Bush you are a curse
    Tony Blair you are a freemason

  • Comment number 45.

    It was not worth it. All troops should have left immediately after Saddam was toppled and the Iraqis left to sort out their own problems.

  • Comment number 46.

    Absolutely NO, Iraq was not worth the deaths of thousands of innocent civillians & the unrest it has caused. Saddam was no threat to us, in fact he was only in power as a US puppet in the first place. I wonder if the UK & US administrations have 'learned lessons' from this episode & learm to keep their noses out of outher countries affairs because when they start fiddling with their leaders it ALWAYS comes back to bite them on the bum.

    Our troops have been used & abused long enough in the name of spreading 'democracy'. Take a long hard look at Afghanistan, it used to have a democracy, but their government got greedy & left the people to fend for themselves against the repressive taliban. Their 'democratic' election of Hamed Karzai was NOT democratic, it was rigged, but no western government said anything because he was their puppet of choice.

  • Comment number 47.

    The Iraq conflict will never be resolved, the illegal invasion of a sovereign state by aggresive forces is unforgiveable. I hope one day (soon) both Bush and Blair are brought to a War Crimes Tribunal for their sins. All those lives lost, billions of dollars wasted for what?
    Truly disgraceful, I am ashamed to be associated as a fellow Britain with the warmonger Blair.

  • Comment number 48.

    The US and UK obviously thought Iraq had sufficient strategic importance to make invasion worthwhile. That may well have been a good enough reason for war.

  • Comment number 49.

    Yes, if:
    -your in the click, i.e the power men behind Blair or Bush.
    -your a U.S based oil company or contractor.
    -you manufacture weapons.
    -your a private security firm (i.e Blackwater).
    No, if:
    -Your an Iraqi.
    -Your sons and daughters fight on the front line.
    -you pay taxes in the U.S or UK.

  • Comment number 50.

    The allied troops did what they were told by the politicians. Politicians lie, thieve and cheat. The troops know this from past experiences. All politicians involved should stand trial for war crimes. At Nuremburg the soldiers also said they were only obeying orders. Therefore our troops should face the same sanction.

  • Comment number 51.

    Now the American terror campaign is brought to halt. Now we must bring war crime against US armed forces and force them to pay compensation to all those civilians murdered by the USA. Then only the war is over.

  • Comment number 52.

    No it wasn't. Next will be the infighting intil the next Saddam Hussain comes to the fore usually at the point of a gun which they all understand. They might at least get some half decent infrastructure back up and working like they had before the war. Probably the majority dont care who runs the place as long as they eat regularly.

  • Comment number 53.

    That depends on whether God told you to do it or not.

    He apparently did say that to messrs Bush and Blair, but not to most of the rest of us.

  • Comment number 54.

    32. At 12:04pm on 31 Aug 2010, pzero wrote:
    "Does anyone really still believe that this whole debacle wasnt about America securing oil supplies under a puppet government in Iraq?

    Isnt it funny how all those worried about the freedoms of the Iraqi population dont give a damn about what is going on in Zimbabwe, but then again there is no oil in Zimbabwe........ "

    But I, for one, do give a damn about the atrocities in Zimbabwe, Sudan et al & could never comprehend why our troops were being sent to Iraq, who weren't slaughtering thousands of people, when our tv screens were filled with scenes of genocide in Sudan & starvation in Zimbabwe. Western governments have got their priorities all wrong, they bleat on about democracy & fairness, but all they're interested in is lining their pockets with blood money 7 keeping their US masters happy. It's a sick old world we live in.

  • Comment number 55.

    No

  • Comment number 56.

    Ofcourse the oil war was worth to Bush, Chaney, their friend and companies at the cost of billions of dalars, hundreds of thousand Iraqi lives as well as many young American and Brish lives. Total distruction of Iraq iferastructure ensures the Amarican control over Iraq for many years. The use of special weapons used has caused illness and birth defects for generations hence ensuring Iraqi's total dependence on Europe and North America. Never during the murderous regime of Sadam Hossain there were over 500 death per month as it is happening today. Seriously, Bush and Blair should should be charged for crime against humanity. We all will be responsible for the crime if we do not force the Internationl court to take their case on.

    Majid

  • Comment number 57.

    Of course it was worth it!
    Dick Cheney and other powerfull people around him became more powerfull, controlling all that beautifull oil & gas, especially with peak oil just around the corner. Hey, and it's priced again in US dollars.

  • Comment number 58.

    , LippyLippo wrote: We tagged along whilst Uncle Sam bombed the hell out of a largely defenceless country. Iraq had zero air power, no WMDs at all, and was just recovering from when we had already beaten it half to death in the Gulf War. Still, we reduced it to rubble, destabilised it, and installed a puppet'democracy' that will be overthrown and replaced by another tyrant the second the US troops leave for good. Rule Britannia. *** reduced it to rubble? That's a bit of an exaggeration. And the lovely mr Hussein did not bring it upon his own people?

  • Comment number 59.

    Grrr BBC Grrr wrote:
    Let's just assume everybody saying the war was all bad is happy for petrol prices to increase substantially and give the oil companies the go-ahead to raise them.


    I hate to burst your bubble but petrol prices have increased substantially since the invasion of Iraq, and also because of it.

    Petrol was selling at about 78p per litre in 2001, it's now selling for about 112p per litre; that's about a 34p per litre or roughly a 30% increase in prices since the invasion began.

  • Comment number 60.

    In the 1930s misguided pacifists stood by and watched an evil dictator grow stronger by the day and did nothing. Ten years later after millions of lives had been lost in WW2 the world quite rightly asked why wasn’t Herr Hitler stopped sooner.

    Saddam Hussein is and thankfully was no different. Iraq HAD weapons of mass destruction. Poison gas against the Kurds, maliciously setting oil wells on fire when the Iraqi army was kicked out of Kuwait, the Teesside super gun to fire missiles at Israel to name but a few. The world is now a much safer place without such a maniac and Bush and Blair should be held up as heroes for having the backbone to take such unpopular decisions before Hussein had the chance to rearm when the anti-war hypocrites were clambering for inaction.

    The lesson is that ego-maniacs who run similar regimes around the world (Iran, North Korea) now know they can act with impunity because the west and particularly America doesn’t want the hassle of sorting out the world’s problems and the abuse that comes with it. So in 10 year's time when such states have the capacity to deliver atomic warheads into the hearts of our cities and possibly do so don’t blame the Americans for not having taking the necessary action when the world had the chance to prevent such carnage.

    Except that the spineless liberal chattering classes will still do so.

    And it makes me ashamed to call myself British when listening to such misguided pacifist rhetoric which only encourages such maniacs to grow stronger and threaten and bully their neighbours even further.

  • Comment number 61.

    No it was not worth it, not the first or the second war.

    We attacked the wrong country and should have invaded Iran, KSA, Lebanon, Kuwait and Syria. Iraq had a strong government and kept the religious maniacs in order. In all my dealings with "Moslem" countries Iraq was the most western.

    The countries mentioned above all hate us and are full of religious maniacs that are plotting world domination.

    Pakistan should be next on the list after all the aforementioned. We have got bigger nukes than them.

  • Comment number 62.

    No - it was based on lies - about weapons of mass destruction which did not even exist.

    Saddam was hanged for killing 136 people - obviously a serious crime.

    However it was perfectly in order for the West to kill tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis to achieve the hanging of Saddam. Why is Saddam's act wrong, but the other bigger act by the West right?

    Answer: The bigger offence was in order, because the right documents authorising it were correctly signed by the "right" people. That is it!! Nothing more.

  • Comment number 63.

    26. At 11:53am on 31 Aug 2010, Nok wrote:
    19. At 11:38am on 31 Aug 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    Was the Iraq war worth it?

    Only the Iraqis can answer that question.

    "And of those Iraqis its only the Kurds, Assyrians, Marsh Arabs and the Shias whose opinions matter, given it was them who suffered unfairly at the hands of Saddam Hussain and his minority Sunni Regime"

    ____________________________________________________________

    Saddam was a brute. But he was OUR brute until he invaded Kuwait and disobeyed a few other orders.
    All his crimes were committed while he was in our favour, and with weapons the west gave him.

    But oil is more important, so for sound economic reasons, and for the billionaires and the gangsters in the White House, YES, it was well worth it

  • Comment number 64.

    It could and would have been with proper planning for the aftermath.

    But as that didn't happen, it wasn't.

    Then again, looking at that region in general, stretcing across to the Indian subcontinent, the norm seems to be brutal, corrupt, governance.

    Let's leave them to it.

    For the future

    - no invasions
    - no régime change
    - no development or emergency aid
    - no accepting of asylum seekers, immigrants or refugees.

  • Comment number 65.

    War for Regime Change is illegal, no other reasons for the war are really being offered. So, no it was not "worth it" to commit an illegal act.

  • Comment number 66.

    Was the Iraq war 'worth it'? Worth what, exactly?
    You judge the worth of something against what you set out to achieve. Back in 2003 we were 'sold' the invasion on the premise that it was to address the issue of Iraqi 'weapons of mass destruction'. Well, here we are in 2010, and (to the best of my knowledge) Iraq now has no weapons of mass destruction. Total success, then.
    Was the war worth the lives and limbs and mental well-being of the thousands of soldiers and civilians since 2003? I don't know. I suggest you consider asking their families that question.
    Was it worth the collective cognitive dissonance that has infected the UK (and indeed much of the US) for the past seven years or so? That is doubtful. You see, we all know that there never were any WMD's, and that this conflict was based on a false premise. Was that anybody's fault? Well, again, you will doubtless be able to ask Mr Chilcott in due course. But a false premise, nonetheless, and now (and for a long time) the 'West' has been desperately trying to justify itself, like some ludicrous character from a 1970's West End bedroom farce, as it lurches around a rumpled bed, trying in vain to hold its trousers up after the belt broke, just as the husband walked through the door. 'Oops. Sorry. I Think I Entered Your Country!!'
    The conflict certainly has been 'worth it' for the industry it has generated in book sales, memoirs, journalistic content etc, as 'experts' analyse and re-analyse the causes and effects of all this. One contributor on here has said, effectively, that time will prove whether it was worth it. Sadly, it failed to be 'worth it' when the WMD's failed to materialise, on the simple premise that the West 'got it wrong' and were now scrabbling around that crumpled bed, looking for excuses. Well, at least there were plenty of those. That Saddam, he was a 'bad un' anyway; him at that nasty 'Chemical' bloke! Good riddance, I say!
    Yes, time will tell. Time will only tell whether that tinderbox has actually ignited to provide something more unstable than we actually had eight years ago! All I know is that at this stage, I don't hear many people at the Travel Agencies rushing to book a romantic weekend break in Baghdad or Basra, after 7 years of Western 'involvement'. Maybe next year, eh?

  • Comment number 67.

    Let me tell you all something. Family on my dad's side lived in Iraq for most of their lives (although not iraqi, actually jordanian). After the americans interferred in an issue that had nothing to do with them, the family reported a much poorer way of life and the state of the country dropped severly. Innocent people killed, no law, no order, and my dad's family was forced to sell their house before civil war broke out and move country. (probably for the better, as i dont knwo why they did stay there when saddam was in power). And, they have said, that the country was much better off under saddam because, unlike the thick americans brought, there was stability in the country. and of course im not saying that saddam was a good bloke (he was a scumbag), but, as you can see, Iraqi people loath the american presence which destroyed so many iraqi lives (probably more than saddam would have killed in that timeframe). And now they have destroyed the country, the americans are pulling out and leaving it so. Just who do they think they are? Its unthinkably, moronically and disgracefully gut wrenching that someone, somewhere was allowed to make the decision for the americans to do what they have done. Shame ofn you america. The blood of the iraq people is on YOUR hands!

  • Comment number 68.

    The unwashed masses (voters) were led to believe the purposes of the invasion were to depose Saddam Hussein and to locate and neutralize those WMD's. Well, it didn't take long to determine there were no WMD's, and it didn't take long to find the pitiful lunatic Hussein hiding in a hole. OK, job done, go home.
    And now, seven years later, 50,000 troops still there -- more than in SKorea --- don't people deserve an explanation? There is no war there, is there......If Petraeus et al did such a fine job of "taming" the Iraqis, and the Iraqis have been beaten into submission, what more is there to be done ..... want to beat them some more? A tad sadistic? Keep the streets filled with bandits?
    $illy question.

  • Comment number 69.

    This war seems to have gone on forever withour anyone knowing why on earth it happened in the first place.

    A few gun-ho politicians got together and thought they'd start a war. Why? Well only they know that but as none of them were intelligent enough to project the mess and devastation it would cause for years to come and actually convinced each other that it would be all over in weeks then it becomes clear why they did it.

    What is left is not only regime change but something much more dangerous. The overthrow of a secular state to be put into the hands of a religious state.

    Left alone once more it will become a failed state which could threaten the whole of the middle east.

    Out of the frying pan and all that........

  • Comment number 70.

    I thought at the time that the war was worth it. I believed all that gup about WMDs and 45 minutes, and I supported the war.

    I was misled. I was lied to.

    No, the war was not worth it.

  • Comment number 71.

    40. At 12:19pm on 31 Aug 2010, in_the_uk wrote:

    30. At 12:01pm on 31 Aug 2010, Mr Cholmondley-Warner wrote:

    19. At 11:38am on 31 Aug 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    Was the Iraq war worth it?

    Only the Iraqis can answer that question.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Perhaps their opinions should have been sought prior to the invasion.

    --------------------

    The iraqis wanted liberation. They wanted it years ago but we let them down.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    The same people who opposed the invasion of Iraq and removal of Saddam were the same people who opposed the first gulf war. They don't care about the Iraq people, just look at the sort of people who make up the anti-war campaign here in the UK, in includes the BNP, groups who wish to bring back the death penalty here in UK, groups who think such as Homosexuality, adultery and Apostasy should be crimes, anti-capitalists who champions the likes of Saddam, Ahmadinejad and Kim Il-sung simply because they defy the west. During WW2 we would of called them Nazi-sympathizers, and like the Nazi-sympathizers they portray themselves as being Anti war. They revel in the death of innocent civilians as it helps there cause, and they perpetuate the myths and conspiracy theories to prolong the violence, after all if there was no violence in Iraq then there cause would be very weak. Saddam used WMDs on his own people, HIS OWN PEOPLE!, it is now a fact, so claiming he had no WMDs is a lie. Trying to argue the war was wrong is effectively trying to argue Saddam was either wrongfully convicted (ie innocent) or what he well within his rights as a sovereign ruler to do what he did (which is what i suspect the vast majority of Anti-war campaigners think).

  • Comment number 72.

    It isn't over yet!

    There remain 50,000 troops as "advisers". But note, they are fully armed not just to protect themselves but in case the Iraqi government has blown it. According to news 24, they are "still playing a crucial role". They'll no doubt be receiving plenty of aid with individual handouts from the CIA to ensure a stream of "intelligence" - though there was nothing intelligent about this invasion.

    Still, Obama needs to get troops back in case he needs them against Iran, given the Americans are mad enough to support Israel in what might be the start of WW3.

  • Comment number 73.

    yes, it was totally right

    as for the 'oil' claims - total rubbish - just look who has the contracts - not the USA - they don't need iraqi oil

    and if they did it would have been cheaper to buy than spend the cost of the war

    as for iraq being a 'test bed' for weapons - sorry, hardly any of the high tech weaponry was used

    and casualty figures are misleading - most are muslim on muslim

  • Comment number 74.

    Let's ask a question of equal validity. Was Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 'worth it'? Was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 'worth it'?

    As is so often the case, the BBC Have Your Say Question entirely misses the point, as it is not up to us to decide. We are not the ones who have paid the true cost of the invasion; the Iraqis are.

    The official reason for the invasion of Iraq was that it was such an intolerable threat to us that we had no choice but to invade. This pretext is now acknowledged to have been wrong as there is no evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Those of us who bothered to check the facts (ie not the media) knew this to be the case beforehand. It was not merely wrong, it was a lie.

    As soon as the WMD pretext fell through a new question was invented -was it right to depose Saddam Hussein and 'liberate' Iraq? Yet this was not the justification for the invasion -indeed, both Tony Blair and George Bush stated several times that they were content for Hussein to remain in power so long as Iraq disarmed (that was the 'single question' as Bush put it).

    Had the question been posed, before the invasion, 'how best can Iraq be liberated?' then a reasonable discussion might have been had about all the things we could have done to liberate Iraq-amounting in practice to all the things we should have stopped doing, which were preventing the Iraqis from liberating themselves. This debate could not be permitted, however, because it would not have given the US Government the answer they wanted.

    So, in reality, to ask whether it was 'worth it' makes as much sense as asking if an unsuccessful bank robbery was 'worth it'. The invasion was a crime, a dreadful, monsterous crime -whether it profited us or not is utterly irrelevant. More honest questions would be, what has our crime cost the people of Iraq and what can we do to make ammends?

  • Comment number 75.

    Yes, of course it was worth it. Plenty of George Bush's mates got some lovely contracts for construction, oil, etc in the aftermath of the invasion and did very well out of them.

    That was what it was about, wasn't it?

  • Comment number 76.

    Over a million people have died as a result of the coalition invasion. Is there anything that could possibly be worth the lives of over a million people? There are very few wars that are "worth" it when considering the human cost, but this must rank as one of the most worthless wars ever.

    The democracy that Iraq has become may yet see the movement of the peoples of Iraq to be broken up into a Kurdistan and a Sunni-controlled republic, away from the now Shi'ite dominated current state. It may be the only way for the sectarian violence that has flourished under the coalition occupation to stop as well. The problem with that is of course Turkey a key NATO ally with it's large Kurdish population has no desire to see a Kurdistan on it's border, and Iran would no doubt love another openly Shi'ite republic in the area.

    Politically then it is too early to say whether it has been a success or not (though it has certainly not been a resounding one) but from a purely humanitarian outlook it has been a disaster.

  • Comment number 77.

    Yes, it absolutely was worth it.
    1) Saddam husain killed thousands of his own people. He forced the country into poverty and he was a tyrinious dictator.

    2) Saddam did have weapons of mass distruction. we know this because he used them on his own people. He may not have had them later when hans brix was over there but because Mr Brix wasn't allowed unlimited access, we couldn't be sure he didn't still have them

    3) for those people who say "He wasn't a threat to the UK" I agree, but if you were being mugged by a gang, wouldn't you like people who can do something about it to take action?

  • Comment number 78.

    The original reason for going to war eg 'weapons of mass destruction' has been totally disproved. America wanted a war to show its people that 'ass was being kicked' following 911, regardless of whether the right ass was being kicked. The British Government meekly followed them into war because its leadership was weak and because of a belief in a one-sided 'special relationship'. So NO it was not worth it. It would have been much more effective strategically to have focused on the main aim of ridding the world of Bin Laden and his lunatics. This has not been achieved.

  • Comment number 79.

    no it wasnt worth it. we went to war on the back of a lie and what exactly has been achieved apart from countless lives lost and the creation of anti western feelings. its like the aftermath of bloody sunday but on a much grander scale and its cost billions

  • Comment number 80.

    To the innocent in Iraq NO!
    To the children of Iraq NO!
    They are worse off ,their plight is desperation

    To T Blair He his Quids in. It may well be Bloody money but he is Quids

    A War that is "lies concocted" , T. Blair deed for his Own Gain and Glory.
    This war brought shame to the doorstep of every UK citizen

    WELL done the House of Commons

  • Comment number 81.

    It's interesting that although no WMD's were ever found, some pro-invasion delusionists still insist that WMD's WERE found (based on Saddam's prior atrocities).
    Delusions persist even when they are disproven.

  • Comment number 82.

    Like many people, I think the Iraq war is illegal and an unnecessary act of attrition. Tony Blair, in order to support Bush, deceived the UK into accepting that war with Iraq was unavoidable if we were to safeguard the UK's future. This has now been 'proven' to be untrue. As a result, our troops are dying in an inhospitable land that will revert back to its old ways if and when our troops leave. It's a futile, tragic waste of young lives with no end in sight. The people of Iraq don't want our soldiers there and the majority of the UK's population don't want our soldiers there, so lets pull out - now! Let Iraq fend for itself, whatever the outcome. Blair's ego has been flattered for too long and the cost too great. Bring our troops home.

  • Comment number 83.

    We probably won't know whether it was worth it for 20 years. Plainly the short term cost has been horrendous, but events of this magnitude shouldn't be judged purely on their short term results. For the record - I have no prejudgment on whether the longer term consequences will turn out to have proved the invasion & occupation right or wrong.
    However, it would be nice to see what IRAQIS thelseves have to say about it rather than Brits judging it from the comfort of our own prejudices

  • Comment number 84.

    30. At 12:01pm on 31 Aug 2010, Mr Cholmondley-Warner wrote:
    19. At 11:38am on 31 Aug 2010, Phillip of England wrote:
    Was the Iraq war worth it?

    Only the Iraqis can answer that question.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Perhaps their opinions should have been sought prior to the invasion.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To a certain extent it was, via dissident Iraqi Shias living in Iran and other countries.

    Given the repressive regime that existed in Iraq prior to the invasion, I am seeing a slight flaw in your plan.

    Perhaps you should have considered that before making your comment.




  • Comment number 85.

    What will the mission change mean for Iraq?

    Iraq is destroyed and laid waste that's all that war does.

    War never fixes anything.

    The only fixing that war does is fixing it so a enemy can't stand on their own two feet anymore.

  • Comment number 86.

    @ John 60

    "Iraq HAD weapons of mass destruction. Poison gas against the Kurds, maliciously setting oil wells on fire when the Iraqi army was kicked out of Kuwait, the Teesside super gun to fire missiles at Israel to name but a few."

    Hussein used gas against Iran and later the Kurds during the 1980s with US knowledge and assistance. He had no stocks after 1991 (as the former chief UNSCOM inspector stated repeatedly during the build up to the invasion). The superguns were destroyed by UN inspectors, along with the rest of Iraq's comparatively feeble WMD infrastructure.

    It's ridiculous to use actions carried out with our complicity two decades previously as a justification for invading a country known by experts to be disarmed, impoverished and no threat to anyone. To argue that Saddam Hussein was the same as Hitler or that Iraq in 2002 was the same as 1930s Germany is sheer historical ignorance. Germany in the 1930s was the preeminent military force in Europe, unified, organised, and devoting massive sums to rearmament. Iraq in 2002 was known to be impoverished and without a navy or airforce. Moreover, Hussein had control of only the middle third and was subject to monthly bombing raids by US and UK forces, which he had no power to stop.

    The 'Saddam was the next Hitler' argument is embarassing.

  • Comment number 87.

    I suppose from BinLaden's point of view it was really, really well worth it:
    it encouraged easy recruitment of more terrorists, and allowed him to escape into the ratcaves of Afghanistan and Pakistan while the US and Britain were looking for WMD's that simply didn't exist.
    Wonder what kind of replies the pro-invasion delusionists will offer. Are the delusionists just in all this for the "thrill of the chase"?

  • Comment number 88.

    No, it wasn't worth the lives lost.
    No, it wasn't worth the billions spent.
    No, it wasn't worth the loss of reputation for the UK.
    No, it wasn't worth the radicalization of all the Arab Muslims who now have a real justified reason to hate us.

  • Comment number 89.

    No, this was an expensive mistake from which lessons should be learned. However, I'm still clinging on to the hope that the invasion was not undertaken out of a feeling of malice and greed.

    The positive results of this war could have been achieved in a much more efficient and expedient way.

  • Comment number 90.

    When the 'war' is over I will provide my verdict!

  • Comment number 91.

    Not worth it.
    Illegal invation based on false premiss and deliberate lies and not sanction by UN. Charles Taylor is on trial now at inaternational courts for exactly the same reasons. Which makes one wonders why not Bush and Blair?? Or it is one law for them and another for those from down the lowly third world countries.

  • Comment number 92.

    60 John

    Seems like you've swallowed all the propaganda.

    The reason that Hitler was not stopped sooner was that we did not have the legal right to do it until Poland was invaded, and many people in this country and in the USA supported him even then. However, we beat him, with the help of Russia and the betlated help of the USA.

    Saddam, on the other hand, was not a threat to us and we had no legal right to invade Iraq. At the time of the invasion, Iraq had no WMDs either. We invaded Iraq to enrich USA business and quite a few British traitors such as the Blair gang, pure and simple - a war crime.

    Far from reducing the terrorist risk, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and our support for the brutally genocidal Zionist occupation of Palestine (amongst other crimes in the Middle East against Iran, Lebanon and Syria) have given generations of oppressed peoples just cause to seek revenge at every opportunity.

    The is the world of difference between being a pacifist and a normal human being. The crimes of the brutes that we have elected make me ashamed to be British, and your feeble attempts to justify them do you no credit either.

  • Comment number 93.

    70. At 1:13pm on 31 Aug 2010, TheyCallMeTheWonderer wrote:

    I thought at the time that the war was worth it. I believed all that gup about WMDs and 45 minutes, and I supported the war.

    I was misled. I was lied to.

    No, the war was not worth it.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bit of an "I'm alright Jack" attitude towards it all, let put it in a smaller scale, "the man in the house across the road is killing all the residents but i don't think the police should go in because he poses no threat towards me"

  • Comment number 94.

    Perhaps it might be a good thing that Saddam was removed, but he should have been dethroned in the first Gulf War in 1991 after the invasion of Kuwait with a wider support of other Arabic countries and not a decade later under the false accusation of WMD weapons.

  • Comment number 95.

    Before the conflict my friend (who is Iraqi) said that she didn't care who got rid of Saddam (Americans, British etc...) as long as someone took him out.
    Unfortunately after several years of Baghdad being under siege I think that the price was a very high one.
    Her elderly father was living in a war zone with limited water and power in an incredibly hot climate. She felt that this shortened his life and he passed away last year.
    Her cousin was found dead and mutilated although she assures me that he wasn't even political at all.
    Her friends brother was shot by the Americans when a bus he was traveling on ran through a road block. They don't even know why the driver of the bus didn't stop.
    This is just some of the suffering of one family.
    War is hell.
    Is it worth it? Who can say?

  • Comment number 96.

    As a journalist with over 30 years' experience of covering Iraq and the Arabian Gulf - living there throughout the Iraq-Iran war, the invasion of Kuwait, the first Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq - I can honestly say the invasion of Iraq was a) illegal b) opposed by most Iraqis in the country or in exile, regardless of any hatred they may have harboured for Saddam Hussein c) opposed by the country's neighbours d)a seven-year ongoing abuse of Iraqi human rights and e)a prime example of US ignorance and bullying to no avail.
    The US campaign - judged against the information released at Centcom's US media centre in Qatar during the war - was just one lie after another.
    US claims at the time were refuted by both UK and
    Russian military intelligence (yes, I have the statements made at the time on record) and the devastation caused in Iraq - the loss of life and damage to the infrastructure - was and is indefensible.
    Iraqis are intelligent, resourceful people who don't need irrelevant, inappropriate or damaging intervention from a country which understands nothing about Iraq's history, capabilities or needs.
    The world - not just Iraq - has been damaged horrifically by the US' unlawful and unjustifiable decision to invade the country; an example of crass stupidity.
    Hopefully now the country will be able to start its regeneration - though it will take decades just to get back to the 'square one' of 2003.
    The exit of US combat troops from Iraq is a positive step. Making good the aid money squandered - claimed to have been spent but never actually put to accountable and justified use by the US - is the next essential step.

  • Comment number 97.

    In hindsight I don't think much was achieved. The Iraquis still don't have a credible government, they have been unable to repair their internal infrastructure and the UK was landed with a big defence bill. The over-riding and key issue which has still not been proven is whether we had the legal right to invade. Blair did what the puppet master Bush wanted....shoulder to shoulder support....I bet a new dictator will eventually emerge and re-unite the country.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    This is for Iraqis to say – however, having destroyed a country, its fabric, its way of life, its security, its infrastructure, its status in the world, its welfare and above all murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent people, I say NO! It was purely for oil and a revenge by Bush. The only winner was Blair to get so many offers of money and assignments from the Americans.

  • Comment number 100.

    'Was the Iraq war worth it?'
    Dunno. Try asking Halliburton's shareholders.

 

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