Iraq hardly comes to mind as a pioneer in humanitarianism, especially as far as warfare is concerned. Yet in the midst of its now six-month campaign to take back the ISIS stronghold of Mosul, the Christian Science Monitor reports that Iraqi armed forces are collaborating with the U.N. and other partners to deliver an unprecedented amount of care and protection to the tens of thousands of civilians caught in the middle (bolding mine): Continue reading
Calling the invasion and slaughter that followed a mistake papers over the lies that took us to Iraq. This assessment of the war as mistake is coming mostly from well-intentioned people, some of whom spoke out against the war before it began and every year it dragged on. It may seem like a proper retort to critics of Obama (who inherited that war rather than started it). But it feeds a dangerous myth.
A mistake is not putting enough garlic in the minestrone, taking the wrong exit, typing the wrong key, falling prey to an accident.
Invading Iraq was not a friggin’ mistake. Not an accident. Not some foreign policy mishap.
The guys in charge carried out a coldly though ineptly calculated act. An act made with the intention of privatizing Iraq and using that country as a springboard to other Middle Eastern targets, most especially Iran. They led a murderous, perfidious end run around international law founded on a dubious “preventive” military doctrine piggybacked on the nation’s rage over the 9/11 attacks. An imperial, morally corrupt war. They ramrodded it past the objections of those in and out of Congress who challenged the fabricated claims of administration advisers who had been looking for an excuse to take out Saddam Hussein years before the U.S. Supreme Court plunked George W. Bush into the Oval Office.
The traditional media did not make a mistake either. They misled their audiences through sloppiness and laziness because it was easier and better for ratings than for them actually to do their jobs. For the worst of them, the misleading was deliberate. They fed us disinformation. Lapdogs instead of watchdogs.
Meteor Blades, “Stop pretending the invasion of Iraq was a ‘mistake.’ It lets the liars who launched it off the hook“, Daily Kos.
Read the linked article above and decide for yourself. Personally, I think it makes a compelling case, although even if it were genuine ineptitude, there’d be just as much culpability given the horrific scale of the consequences.
Unbeknowst to most Americans, today is the 10th anniversary of the launching of the Iraq War. In recognition of this sober and increasingly forgotten observance, ThinkProgress has published a great timeline of the Iraq War that recounts all of the details of this understated conflict from beginning to end (including its somber consequences).
It’s remarkable how far removed most of us are from that conflict, even a decade later. Even I’ve had to remind myself that it was going on, and technically still lingers in some form or another (as it likely will for some time). Of course, the same amnesia and apathy does not apply to the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers who took part (or their families), and especially to the millions of Iraqis who have been killed, maimed, traumatized, and exiled by the subsequent breakdown in society. Needless to say, the social, economic, and political consequences will likely remain both sides of this conflict for generations (albeit in different ways and degrees).
But given that it’s a busy day at work, I’ll keep my own musings brief. Please feel free to share your own reactions, thoughts, and opinions. At the very least, try to (re)familiarize yourself with this dangerously misunderstood and forgotten war.
Today, the US officially declared the mission in Iraq to be over, nearly a decade after it begun. Having come of age when it first started, it feels strange to imagine it is actually, even though it’s been more-or-less outside the public consciousness for some time.
I understand that’s quite a lot of hope to have, especially as Afghanistan remains unresolved, and the track-record for collective amnesia is disheartening. For what it’s worth, I wish everyone who has been directly affected in some way or another much peace and solidarity.
I’ll leave everyone with some images to reflect on.