Why Continue?

When we invaded Iraq in 2003, the first official justification from the White House was that we had to secure Saddam’s dangerous piles of weapons of mass destruction. (We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud, was the Bush administration line.) There was plenty of evidence at the time that this threat was bullpucky and that was proven as soon as we got there. So then we decided we were really there to get rid of Saddam. It took three weeks for Baghdad to fall and he was caught in his hidey-hole by December.

So why stay after that, for a whole second year? For a third, fourth, fifth, sixth… eighth? Our official stated reasons for staying in Iraq after Saddam was in his grave were a moving target: we were restoring order, we were protecting Iraqi women, we were keeping the Shiites and the Sunnis and the Kurds from killing one another…

~ Rachel Maddow (1957-04-01 age:60) Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

Obviously theses reasons were not the real reasons. Bush has not an altruistic bone in his body. The USA is the stingiest developed country on the planet in foreign aid. So what were the real reasons?