It was five years agoÂ yesterday that the United States invaded Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein. Much has happened since then including the fact that the claims for why America went to war have been since proven false.
In the time since the fighting began, almost 4,000Â American troops have perished. Protesters marked the occasion across the country and in Washington, D.C., those rallies included Iraq veterans.
President Bush marked the day by saying that America will not leave Iraq until “victory” is achieved. Critics immediately fired quotes at the President for his “Mission Accomplished” speech several years ago.
On the presidential campaign front, John McCain was in overseas after aÂ Middle East trip and used the occasion to stress that there is much work to be done in the region. He saw the Democratic candidates’ plans as nothing less than surrender.
Barack Obama used the day to make his latest impassioned speech about the war. “It was his 2002 speech against the Iraq war that essentially launched his presidential aspirations. Hillary Clinton spent the day in Michigan demanding that that state’s votes count from their “disqualified” primary and promised to bring the U.S. troops home as soon as she becomes President.
Obama’s speech was his second in two days, the first being his historic one on race. The response to that speech has run the gamut including conservative talk show hosts exclaiming that his values are our values. It is a strange world, indeed.
In Wednesday’s speech on Iraq, Obama linked the war to the failing U.S. economy and said it was central to our economic recovery to end the war.
“When you’re spending over $50 to fill up your car because the cost of oil is four times what it was before Iraq, you’re paying a price for this war,” he said in Charleston, West Virginia.
John McCain fired back from the Middle East: “no matter what the costs, no matter what the consequences, “So we know what this war has cost us – in blood and treasure,” he said. “But in the words of Robert Kennedy, ‘past error is no excuse for its own perpetuation.”