Middle East

Mar 25, 2013

What Australia owes Iraq 10 years after the war began

One decade after the beginning of the war in Iraq, is the country better off? Is the region safer? And did the war accomplish its goals? Deakin University's Dr Benjamin Isakhan assesses where Iraq is at.

The 10-year anniversary of the Iraq war serves as a unique opportunity to measure the costs of the intervention, to assess the successes and failures of the goals of the war and to assess Australia’s obligations.


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22 thoughts on “What Australia owes Iraq 10 years after the war began

  1. klewso

    Why is the rest of our media only concentrating our attention on “US costs”?

  2. benjamin isakhan

    That’s a very good question, klewso. What do you make of that?

  3. klewso

    Because they don’t want us looking too closely at how we got involved – who propelled that drive?
    The similarities to the US “motivation”?

  4. michael crook

    Wont be too many comments on this one we dont like acknowledging our sins. The John Hopkins university figures are a lot higher with up to a million Iraqis dead. In brief, the invasion of Iraq was a war crime, no different from the invasion of Poland some decades before. And I mean, no different. John Howard is a war criminal who should face the international war crimes tribunal. Our obligation to leave stability is a given, but we dont live up to our obligations. The final analysis? We invaded Iraq, turned it into a rotting cemetery, and poisoned the ground and people with depleted uranium for one reason and one reason only, ….because we could.

  5. Heeba Isa Khan

    Greetings Dr Benjamin Isakhan

    This article is excellent in so much as the variation from the typical MSM approach.

    Your name is fascinating too, Benjamin Isaac Khan. it’s awesome and very beautiful.

    Looking forward to more articles from you.


  6. zut alors

    The cost of the war to Iraq is immeasurable. The cost to Australia is our reputation – we are confirmed as a US lapdog rather than an independent thinking nation.

  7. David Ritchie

    I have never doubted the huge human and $ cost to Iraq from “the coalition of the willing’s” involvement; and your article spells it out yet again.
    Klewso makes a very good point and one I’ve always wondered about – exactly how much has it cost Australia?
    Finally, vis a vis Syria…..replacing a secular regime (whatever its many faults) with warring sects/clans/tribes might be a result both Syrians and their neighbours come to regret.

  8. benjamin isakhan

    Heba – thank you for the compliment. My father is an Assyrian Christian and that is where the name comes from.
    Zut alors – I think you are right. The war has cost Australia a lot in terms of its reputation.
    David – yes, there are many similarities between iraq and Syria. Although the key difference is that the situation there was not triggered by external intervention (so far!)
    Thanks all for your comments

  9. David Ritchie

    Benjamin – unfortunately very few of us (esp Gov’ts) learn anything from history and so I pray that “…external intervention (so far!)” stays that way. We have to be very careful about what we wish for!

  10. Kevin Herbert


    thanx for the clear eyed, accurate summary of the human & economic costs of this imperialist war for oil.

    Seeing the Oz’s Chris Kenny & Lord Downer of Bagdad attempt to put a positive spin on this disaster is a sad indictment of our political & media class.

    And today Iraq teeters on the edge of sectarian violence & political instability….and some amongst us wonder why they want to commit violence against Australia.

    If I were them, I’d be in the thick of it, in the same way as I would if some bully boy foreign force invaded Australia just to take over our resources.

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