President George W. Bush speaks at the Pentagon in Washington March 19, 2008 on the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion in Iraq.(Jason Reed/Reuters)
Protesters marked the anniversary of the U.S. invasion with demonstrations near the White House and in other cities, though they seemed to lack the fervor of those that preceded the war.
Bush, in a speech at the, offered some of his boldest assessments of progress and said the war’s legacy is absolute: “The world is better, and the United States of America is safer.”
A war-weary country isn’t nearly so convinced.
The majority of people think the invasion was a mistake, polls show. However, Americans are more split about how the war is going and when U.S. troops should be pulled home, as reduced violence in Iraq has begun to influence the public view.
Almost 4,000 U.S. military members have died, and more than 29,000 have been wounded. The cost is $500 billion and counting.
“No one would argue that this war has not come at a high cost in lives and treasure,” Bush said. “But those costs are necessary when we consider the cost of a strategic victory for our enemies in.”