Mississippians Reflect Ten Years After The Invasion Of IraqBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 18 Mar 2013 10:39pm |
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports Mississippians are still divided over whether or not the war was worth it.
The Iraq war lasted just over 8 years and left nearly 45-hundred American soldiers dead before combat forces left the country in late 2011.
Major General Cathy Lutz, the commander of the Mississippi Air National Guard, says the war has taken a toll but there are lessons the country can learn.
"Any time you do anything worthwhile, it is worth sitting down and reflecting lessons learned. You have to go back and do a hot wash to see what you can do better. Or see what can be changed or not changed and that type of thing. You document it and you carry that down like a tradition," Lutz said.
Lutz says the war is too complicated to boil down to simple lessons, or to decide whether or not it was in U-S interests to invaded Iraq.
But for Will Watson it is an easy decision.
"The Iraq war will probably go down in world history as the most egregious misstep in American foreign policy,"
Watson organized anti-war demonstrations on the Mississippi coast prior to the start of the war.
He says the war was a massive waste of American resources that has left the U-S in a weaker position in the Middle East.
"Iraq had this unlooked for effect of strengthening Iran. Now the same people who beat the drum for war with Iraq are doing the same thing with Iran. And that wouldn't have happened if Saddam Hussein was still in power," Watson said.
The commander of the American legion post in Jackson R-V Martin thinks the initial invasion was the right thing to do, but worries that the war lasted too long.
"Its hard to say but it should have been over a long time ago. Reminds me of me and Joe arguing and pushing one another. Fight and get it over with," Martin said.
In addition to American casualties, most estimates calculate that the war resulted in the deaths of around 150-thousand Iraqi Civilians.
A recent poll by Gallup finds that 53-percent of Americans now see the Iraq war as a mistake.
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