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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: 10th anniversary of start of Iraq War

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Mar 19, 2013 8:14 AM

Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, March 19:

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Was the war in Iraq worth the costs?  That's a question many are asking on this -- the 10th anniversary of the beginning of hostilities.  Is the United States more secure -- even though no weapons of mass desctruction -- the basis for the war -- were found?  A fragile democracy has emerged in Iraq, but is it enough to justify the war?

Consider 4,488 American service men and women died in Iraq.  It's estimated some 134,000 Iraqi civilians were killed.  The U.S. will spend more than $2 trillion on the war and reconstruction when all the figures are tallied.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released this weekend indicated that nearly six in 10 Americans believe the war wasn't worth the high costs.  More than half surveyed say the war in Iraq has not made the U.S. more secure. 

Appearing on Tuesday's Radio Smart Talk to look back on the past 10 years will be retired Maj. Gen. Walter L Stewart Jr., the former commander of the 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard, former Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy, the first Iraq War veteran to serve in Congress, and Dr. Catherine Lutz, the co-director of The Costs of Warresearch project based at Brown University's Institute for International Studies. 


Major General Walter L. Stewart, Jr. (ret.) discusses the impact of the War in Iraq.


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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-03-19 08:49

    E-mail from O.:

    "Our soldiers who died, they did not die in vain, as long as they died following orders. But it's up to us to address WHY THEY DIED. And to this day no one has been held responsible, but another Bush could be running for president, and you know that apple didn't fall far from the Bush tree."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-03-19 08:52

    E-mail from Anne:

    "I have raised my 16 year old daughter to think globally. Lessons from Iraq/politics were part of this. She is a public school student and I have been involved deeply in her education. One of the issues I have taken to the school administration is the lack of current event coverage and history teaching. Essentially until 8th grade all this was ignored. She is now in 10th, and still all she has been able to take is antebellum history. Now AP courses offer a window to our country in the last 150 years.
    So why are PA school curricula devoid of teaching in these areas? The answer is standardized testing. All areas not tested have been ignored. Another legacy of George Bush was the No Child Left Behind testing program that threw all efforts to math, reading and writing.
    As a result, no elementary student has heard about 9/11. No middle school student has either. You have to get to AP US history before you can hear about the World Wars, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. Sad."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-03-19 08:55

    E-mail from Thomas:

    "Could somebody please address who really gains from these wars? How much did the personal wealth of the Cheney - Rumsfeld - Bush family fortunes increase from their investment in Haliburton, etc ?"

  • lori img 2013-03-19 11:50

    as we watched the invasion on the news that evening, i turned to my husband and said, "this is our generation's vietnam. we're launching an invasion based on lies and deceit." altho i'm just an ignorant farmer, i knew the weapons they touted, which were sold to iraq by bush sr, rumsfeld, and cheney when they were in the reagan white house, had a shelf life and were long out of date as anything but useless and dangerous waste. i knew that the oil men, bush and cheney, were not only invested in the carlisle group, a holder of the company i then worked for that had defense companies and oil companies in their portfolios, and were looking for massive profits for themselves and their friends, but that they were never in war themselves and could not have cared less about those who paid the price with thier lives, thier bodies, and thier minds. i knew that there would be massive loss of lives for nothing but thier profit. they are war criminals and should face the world in a docket. the hundreds of thousands who died should haunt them forever, but those are people with no conscience, so that's surely never going to be a part of it. even without looking at the loss of all those lives, the ruination of so many others, the massive waste of our money, our nation lost face in the world, our people lost faith in our governnment, and anyone who supported the lies should forever be ashamed. i went to DC a number of times to protest against this blood-soaked lie, and i was called a traitor to my face for doing so. i was brought up that it's patriotic to THINK, to find out facts and make serious decisions based on those facts, not on lies. all i can say is if someone like ME knew it was a lie, colin powell and condi rice, supposed experts, should have known, too. if there's a hell, that entire administration will burn forever for this. what could we have done for our nation and for our world in the ensuing 10 years had we had the money and the hundreds of thousands of american, ally, and iraqi lives we threw away on this pointless war made for the profit of the elite political "leaders"? i will never get over my bitterness over how this was done, on how many lives were lost, and for how our recently re-elected president turned his head and refused to prosecute the liars and the architects of this wasteful adventure.

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