Several hundred thousand Iraqis -- at least -- were killed as a result of this war, with another 4 million being turned into refugees. As the Iraqi journalist and professor Ali Fadhil put it in 2008, on the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion: "basically, my assessment is we have a whole nation called Iraq, now it's wiped out." Contrary to self-justifying conventional wisdom, the alleged post-surge improvement in Iraqi civil society has not remotely mitigated the destruction spawned by the invasion. As The Economist detailed in September, 2009, the U.S.-supported Maliki government is relying increasingly on Saddam-era tactics of torture, censorship, lawless sectarian militias, and brutal punishment of dissent: "Human-rights violations are becoming more common. In private many Iraqis, especially educated ones, are asking if their country may go back to being a police state."
The invasion of Iraq was unquestionably one of the greatest crimes of the last several decades. Imagine what future historians will say about it -- a nakedly aggressive war launched under the falsest of pretenses, in brazen violation of every relevant precept of law, which destroyed an entire country, killed huge numbers of innocent people, and devastated the entire population. Have we even remotely treated it as what it is?