March 13th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Blitzer: Iraq, five years later

 The war in Iraq began five years ago.
The war in Iraq began five years ago.

(CNN) – Five years ago today, I was on the way to Kuwait. We were getting ready to cover a war.

It was rather eerie being on the last scheduled commercial flight from London to Kuwait City. British Airways and the other jetliners were shutting down their air routes to Kuwait. Everyone knew a war was imminent.

By the time I got to Kuwait City, the U.S. already had about 150,000 troops in northern Kuwait ready to invade. I drove up to the north to see some of those troops. They were all prepared for chemical warfare. They assumed that Saddam Hussein’s troops would use chemical and maybe even biological weapons. They were ready.

Like other journalists cover the impending war, I, too, had my gas mask and other WMD protective gear. I had reported on wars over the years but I remember worrying about this one. I had no idea what to expect.

Now, we are on the verge of five years of U.S. warfare in Iraq. If someone had told me back in March 2003 that the U.S. would still have about 150,000 troops in Iraq in March 2008, I would have thought they were crazy. The first Gulf War which I covered in January and February 1991 ended within weeks with the liberation of Kuwait.

It was a dazzling military success – the result of overwhelming military force. The U.S.had deployed more than 500,000 troops to the region to get the job done. That was my frame of reference.

This war in Iraq has turned out very differently.

– CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Sad

    Wolf,

    Everyone who voted for George W. Bush is at fault.

    My prayers go out to the families of the fallen soldiers, though.

    I can't wait for the next election.

    March 13, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    McCain = Iraq 105 years later

    March 13, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. therealist

    Winning the war only took two weeks, winning the peace will take a generation. You of all people should have known this Wolf, please review your history..

    March 13, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. FrankSmith

    If the folks in PA think some of the Dems on this blog "hate" Hillary, let them wait until Hillary becomes a potential (?) nominee. Adding insult to fire, the Republican machine would be destructive of Hillary!!

    The only way PA can save the Dem party, is to give in and vote for Obama. A vote for Hillary is a vote to destroy the LAST hope of the Dems to win the White House. Anything after PA would be a disaster for the Dem party, and Hillary (and Bill) would care less!!

    March 13, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. George

    The biggest success of Bush was to have our troops level increase in 5 years in Iraq.

    March 13, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Dan , TX

    Be prepared for another 10 years in Iraq. The democrats have imploded and they have no chance to win in November.

    Obama and Clinton may be friends after this is over, but Obama supporters hate Clinton and will never vote for her and Clinton supporters hate Obama and will never vote for him. It's over, McCain will be president.

    March 13, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Grif

    Well if you were worried about WMD's, and most of the Military Guy's, then it was taken for granted just about! That the worst thing possible/ weapon-wise were just about all over Iraq....

    So why is it now that George Bush is being blamed because they just were'nt there.

    You should be thankful they were'nt But, again I still say, that if the Invasion hadn't been held up, the WMD's would have been found.

    March 13, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. VOTER FOR TRUTH AND DIGNITY IN AMERICA

    Five years later? In Iraq? How many soldiers died? How many
    innocent people died? How many injured for life American lifes
    were changed forever? How many family lives were changed
    forever.

    How much money did Haliburton make, altogether? And how
    much of that money was given to the well, hated Cheney? There
    was another company that was giving kickbacks to Cheney.

    That is the "CHENEY" that when asked how to cut the budget!!!!
    His answer, "Cut Entitlements". Is there room in the jail for him?
    No, Guatatomo, that one!!!!!

    America loves our soldiers and thanks them for the core of
    our being, and we want justice for them.

    OBAMA 2008

    March 13, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. wolf

    Who cares wolf did you Vote for the war like Bush, Mccain, Dick cheny and Hillary. We need our brave Trops home Vote For Obama.

    March 13, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Sandi from Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Every single American who continues to support the War in Iraq has a moral obligation to DEMAND that their senators and representatives REALLY SUPPORT THE TROOPS:

    Demand that they immediately:

    TELL US HOW MUCH THE WAR IS REALLY COSTING. BE TRANSPARENT ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY WE NEED TO PAY FOR THE WAR...every single dollar, for present and future costs of the war.

    COMMIT TO A FUTURE BUDGET TO TAKE CARE OF EVERY SINGLE VETERAN WHEN HE OR SHE GETS BACK.

    RAISE TAXES TO PAY FOR THE WAR.

    and START THE DRAFT, to give the troops the help they need.

    If you don't believe in that. Then bring our troops home.

    March 13, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. mimi de la cruz for OBAMA

    Little did you and some of us know, that, those who launched the Iraq war planed to be there for a 100 years or so. Truthfully, knowing the history of the region, a lot of us didn't think it was going to be 5 years, but we also didn't think it would be 100. This is where the Democrats let us down horribly.

    March 13, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Rebecca

    McCain today is complaining about millions of earmarks while he has supported and failed Iraq policy that is wasting over $12 billion dollars a month. All of this while Al Queida and the Taliban are gaining strength.

    The real problem is America is fastly heading towards bankrupcy because of Iraq and directly making China and other countries richer because they are the ones loaning America the money. So who is really winning here.

    I picture China and the terrorists laughing at us all the way to the bank. The longer we stay in Iraq the poorer we get while China gets richer and richer. If McCain has his way with Iraq, China will be the new Superpower of the world.

    March 13, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. BobW Rochester, NY

    Wolf, just thank George Bush, John McCain and Hillary Clinton along with a cast of hundreds in the Senate, House, Dept. of Defense and the CIA for where we are now. Next time, before we vote to go war, they ought to give the press the national intelligence estimate. At least you guys would bother to read it.

    March 13, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. mike

    My dream tickets Obama/Blitzer or Hillary/Anderson Cooper.

    March 13, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Fernandez

    Wolf
    We did not finish the job the first time, we should have removed Sadaam., that is the reason we back there again. If we pull out now we will be back there againin a couple of years and the cost will tne higher than today

    March 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Michael, North Carolina

    THE WAR SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN WAGED. SEN. OBAMA WAS RIGHT FROM THE BEGINING.
    SEN. CLINTON WILL DESTROY THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SHE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE AVERAGE JOE, SHE IS RICH.
    SEN. OBAMA AND AMERICAN HERO.

    I HAVE GOOD NEWS HERE IN NORTH CAROLINA THAT DALE EARNHEART JR. HAS JUST ENDORSED SEN. OBAMA.

    YES WE CAN
    OBAMA/EDWARDS '08

    March 13, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.