A threat to peace in the Persian Gulf
An independent body has calculated that 114,000 civilians were killed during the US-led invasion of Iraq and in the subsequent occupation. The timing of the estimate is deeply ironic and even tragic.
The invasion was one of the factors which have brought the price of oil to more than $100 a barrel. It also helped the rise of Iran to the status of a regional power -- perhaps the leading regional power. Seemingly the Bush administration, at the time of the invasion, knew nothing about the Shia Muslim populations in Iraq and Iran or the implications for the balance of power.
It did know about the determination of the demented Iranian regime to develop a nuclear weapons capacity, but neither diplomacy nor sabre-rattling has deterred Tehran from pursuing this ambition.