A Day Of Infamy
Ten years ago, the US invaded and occupied the sovereign nation of Iraq. News reports today are recalling that the war had “wide support” from both elected officials and the public. What is that suppose to mean?
The press reports that 75% of Americans supported the war. That is pretty strong support. Within a few years after the going got really tough, support evaporated. I am proud to say I was one of the 25% and saw the war for what it was. A regime change project premised on superior military force. (See PNAC)
I was living in Duesseldorf in March 2003. My english speaking press was the International Herald Tribune, then a JV between the New York Times and the Washington Post. Between the IHT and the German media, anyone could get a different perspective on what evidence actually existed to justify military action. The preponderance said (1) there is no imminent threat, (2) there was no hard evidence of any nuclear program, and (3) there was absolutely no connection between Iraq and al Qaeda.
As the war progressed (even after Mission Accomplished), the tragic consequences began to add up. We can measure the war’s cost in deaths, those badly injured, and dollars. All were far too much.
We should also measure its cost in terms of opening Pandora’s box and unleashing sectarian violence of unbelievable proportions. Iraqi killing Iraqi is just as heavy a responsibility as the thousand of military members who came home with limbs missing or debilitating head injuries.
Since the war began, many have called this a Republican War. Many have blamed George W Bush and Dick Cheney. And indeed the war happened on the GOP watch with the drum majors, Bush and Cheney. I am not sure, however, that the charge Republicans take us to war is fair for all times.
It is clear, however, that former President Bush and Vice President Cheney were not up to the standards of their jobs. Their shallow thinking, inch deep preparation, poor execution, and unashamed propagandized speeches are part of history. The Iraq War is one of America’s darkest hours.
To be absolutely clear, the military fought the war and subsequent occupation bravely and with honor. Soldiers sacrificed much only to return to a questioning country. This seems grossly unfair considering our service men and women’s sacrifices, but it is the same national reaction as with Vietnam.
March 19, 2003 is a day that will live in infamy.
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