We shed blood, we poured out our treasure for years. We beat down their existing order, smashed it flat in fact, and rebuild it painfully and slowly. We rebuilt, we ran elections (cleaner elections than we have at home), rebuilt their armed forces.
At the very least we should have enjoyed the benefits of a client state smack dab in the middle of the Middle East.
But because the GOP couldn’t bring themselves to actually run an election like they wanted to win it and the minor task of establishing American bases and interests fell to an Iranian Deep Cover agent; everything was thrown away. All the lives, all the pain, all the treasure.
We should have left Saddam Hussein in power. Everyone would be better off.