15 years ago today, the United States began the ill-fated Iraq War, which was made possible with the help of these 21 Congressional Democrats.
On the ten-year anniversary of the war, Hans Blix — the former United Nations chief of the monitoring, verification, and inspection commission — authored an op-ed for CNN calling George W. Bush’s war in Iraq “a terrible mistake and violation of UN charter.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguistics professor and prominent author Noam Chomsky called Bush’s invasion of Iraq “the worst war crime of this century.” The war and the instability that followed has been blamed as the chief catalyst for the rise of ISIS.
The casualties of the Iraq War are astounding. Between 2003 and 2011, when former President Barack Obama officially ended the Iraq War, it’s estimated that approximately 500,000 Iraqis died as a result of the war. A 2013 study conducted by academic researchers in the United States, Canada, and Iraq, done in conjunction with the Iraqi Ministry of Health, found that both violent deaths along with avoidable deaths coming from insurgencies and the sectarian warfare that erupted from the resulting societal breakdown surpassed half a million. More than 4,500 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq.
In addition to the human cost of the war, the financial hit from the Iraq War was approximately $2 trillion, according to Brown University’s Cost of War study. That cost could eventually balloon to more than $6 trillion over the next 40 years as a result of interest from the debt the U.S. government took on in order to pay for the gargantuan undertaking.
Despite the tremendous loss of life, the overwhelming financial burden, and the massive protests in dozens of American cities that brought hundreds of thousands of people out into the streets, the 2002 votes in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to authorize military force in Iraq passed with the help of dozens of Democrats — many of whom are still in office today.
Here are the names of those Democrats, alphabetized by state (Democrats with an asterisk next to their name are up for re-election in 2018).
House Democrats who voted for the Iraq War still in office
1. Adam Schiff (D-California)*
2. Brad Sherman (D-California)*
3. Mike Thompson (D-California)*
4. Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia)*
5. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland)*
6. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts)
7. Stephen Lynch (D-Massachusetts)*
8. Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota)*
9. Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey)*
10. Joe Crowley (D-New York)*
11. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York)*
12. Eliot Engel (D-New York)*
13. Nita Lowey (D-New York)*
14. Gene Green (D-Texas)*
15. Adam Smith (D-Washington)*
16. Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin)*
Senate Democrats who voted for the Iraq War still in office
17. Dianne Feinstein (D-California)*
18. Tom Carper (D-Delaware)*
19. Bill Nelson (D-Florida)*
20. Chuck Schumer (D-New York)
21. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington)*
Logan Espinoza is a freelance contributor specializing in economic issues. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and daughter. Contact him at logan DOT espinoza AT yahoo DOT com.