Al-Qaida is back: Was the War in Iraq a Waste?

Veterans are wondering whether their sacrifices were worth it as Iraqi Christians are being persecuted as never before and al-Qaida returns.

Fewer than half of all veterans of the post-9/11 military say America’s intervention in Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein was worth the cost, according to a new poll from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

In Iraq, Christians are suffering terrible persecution as al-Qaida has returned with a vengence, retaking key parts of the country.

The Pew survey shows 44 percent of U.S. veterans believe the Iraq War was worth the cost. On the other hand, 50 percent believe American sacrifices in Afghanistan were worthwhile.

A burned-out U.S. tank (photo courtesy U.S. Army)

A burned-out U.S. tank (photo courtesy U.S. Army)

Was the purpose of the Iraqi war to drive out al-Qaida? The Obama administration is being criticized after al-Qaida has overrun parts of Iraq, including the city of Fallujah, in which the United States secured major casualties before the president removed all U.S. forces. U.S. forces took Fallujah in 2004 after some of the bloodiest battles of the war. Fallujah became notorious when insurgents murdered four U.S. contractors and hung their mutilated bodies from an overpass.

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Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham called al-Qaida’s victories “as tragic as they were predictable” and suggested Obama misled Americans into believing that Iraqi leaders wanted U.S. forces out of their country.

“While many Iraqis are responsible for this strategic disaster, the administration cannot escape its share of the blame,” the senators said in a joint statement. “When President Obama withdrew all U.S. forces … over the objections of our military leaders and commanders on the ground, many of us predicted that the vacuum would be filled by America’s enemies and would emerge as a threat to U.S. national security interests. Sadly, that reality is now clearer than ever.”

Was the intention of the war to secure oil for the United States? That accusation has been repeated frequently, but Iraq recently signed its first oil deal in 35 years with a foreign company.

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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
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