And the hits keep on coming. From The Atlantic (July/August 2009):
Operation Iraqi Freedom now ranks second only to World War II as the most expensive conflict in U.S. history. Transforming Iraq has cost roughly $1 trillion, with the meter still running and the job unfinished. Transforming Afghanistan, by any measure an even more daunting task, is likely to cost as much or more. That’s money we don’t have.
I agree with Colin Powell--we broke Iraq, and we have to fix it--but that doesn't mean I like the idea and expense of American troops in Iraq. I can't tell you how many times I wish Americans had demanded clear evidence of an actual threat before invading Iraq. Did we really allow only 19 men/terrorists to pollute our view of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims? Otherwise, how else did we get to the point where so many Americans irrationally viewed Muslims and Arabs as threats and therefore deserving of war and undeserving of sovereignty?
On a more somber note, estimated 100,000 Iraqis have died from violence since the 2003 invasion. Since 2003, over 4,000 Americans have died in Iraq.