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Iraq's legacy a decade later

Photo: Lori Fernald Khamala / AFSC

This op-ed by Peter Lems appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on March 19, 2013.

What is the legacy of the Iraq war?

Is it the staggering number of lives lost? The trillions of dollars added to the national debt? The precedent of invading a country and overthrowing a government to bolster U.S. interests?

Since the war began a decade ago today, as much ink has been spilled on paper as blood on the battlefield in trying to answer these questions. But the Iraq war's greatest legacy might be the opportunity it presents for the American public to demand a standard of transparency and accountability that policymakers must meet before they can waste trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives while violating the Constitution. It's the least we can do for our democracy.

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