American taxpayers need to ask some cold, hard questions of their leaders.

After 5 years of invasion and occupation, TRILLIONS spent of taxpayer dollars and THOUSANDS of U.S. military and Iraqi soldier and civilian casualties, who are the REAL winners of the Iraq War?

Are the winners the American people? No, they aren’t.

So who ARE the winners?

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was led by the United States along with some British forces and some smaller contingencies from Denmark, Poland, Australia and from some other nations.

While the mainstream news media often remind us of the failures of the Iraq War, the money spent and the lives lost we seldom hear of the winners.

There have to be some winners or else we would NOT still be in Iraq for 5 years. There has to be a reason we are willing to remain there and it’s NOT out of the goodness of our American hearts.

According to the periodical, Foreign Policy, the top 10 winners are the following:

1.. Iran — the newly found power of Iran’s Shiite leaders are due in large part to the Iraq war. Interestingly enough, despite being the prime source of enabling of that power, the Bush administration has turned its attention to Iran as its next consideration for military action.

2.. Emergence of Moqtada al-Sadr — the interesting evolution of a radical Shiite cleric’s rise to great power.

3.. Al Qaeda — despite what the Bush administration states about the terrorist network, it had been badly injured after the 9/11 attacks but received its “second wind” after the invasion of Iraq.

4.. Samuel Huntington — a mild-mannered man whose sharp opinions about the collision of Islam and the West, about the role of the military in a liberal society, about what separates countries that work from countries that don’t, have proved to be as prescient as they have been controversial. Huntington has been ridiculed and vilified, but in the decades ahead his view of the world will be the way it really looks.

5.. China — the industrial giant, as well as other nations, was provided room to grow and to prosper, thanks to the US attention to and war with Iraq.

6.. Arab Dictators — while prior to the Iraq invasion and occupation Arab dictators were being scrutinized and subjected to US pressures to reform, now they are more independent and less concerned.

7.. Price of Oil — as many American consumers now consider, the Iraq War sparked the high cost of oil (and gas) and the profits awarded OPEC Mid-East nations will continue long into the future.

8.. The United Nations — for many years the world pointed the finger at the UN because of its poor record regarding its peace-keeping actions throughout the world. Suddenly, it doesn’t look so bad in comparison.

9.. Old Europe — in addition to feeling they were right in viewing the Iraq invasion and war as being wrong, the nations of Europe have strengthened their economy while the U.S. remains financially stressed by the war.

10.. Israel — thanks to Iraq the pressure on Israel to continue the peace process with its Arab nations has been shelved indefinitely.

At this point in time, the reasons for invading Iraq are inconsequential in comparison to the long-time cost of the process in world reputation, taxpayer dollars, human lives and the new and more powerful Mid-East order.

When we ask the question, “Who are the REAL winners of the Iraq War?” the U.S. is not even in contention. While it is true that various American-owned companies have made billions from the invasion and occupation, Americans themselves and their government have lost a great deal.

How long the Iraq occupation will continue is an unanswered question; however, the longer the U.S. remains in the Mid-East the deeper it digs its own burial plot.

The future of the U.S. will be dependent upon the new leadership change as of January 1, 2009. The new administration will have to review, consider and modify the current administration’s actions during the previous 8 years. Whatever the new leadership decides will influence dramatically America’s direction and the world order for generations to come.

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