Source: Washington Post
Ten years ago today, over 300,000 troops under US command made a surprise invasion of a country without a declaration of war. In the subsequent years we watched a bloody insurgency erupt and blossom into a low level civil war. We did this at the behest of our government that sold us a casus beli that was unconfirmed and oft disputed: that Saddam had nuclear and chemical weaponry and he was ready to use them or supply others who would use them. We watched over the worst parts of the insurgency as a clever and undeterred enemy used cellphones and unguarded munitions to kill Coalition soldiers, film the attacks and promulgate them through social media networks.
And when the world economy collapsed in part due to the bill we were running up we watched as veterans once again populated our hospitals and clinics and our streets, and suffer.
During the occupation we watched as the once rock hard US principles of fairness and humanity were overturned at Abu Gharaib. You could waterboard someone because a lawyer said it wasn’t torture. Under this President the systematic torture of prisoners has stopped, but it is still US policy, poorly veiled behind some dubious legal opinions, and sticks to our hands like blood. We spent two trillion dollars with no plan to pay for the war. It resulted in 4200 American deaths, 32,000 wounded, and thousands wounded grievously. No two institutions can agree on the exact death toll for Iraqis but we can agree that seeing 160,000 people perish in a violent horrifying moment is a cost no one on the US media talked about very much. They still don’t talk about it very much. And my guess is that few Americans know how many Iraqis died yesterday in internecine conflict in a country that is still a bloody mess.
The US media completely and fully and utterly disappointed. Since the invasion the pretense of fair and balanced reporting on any channel is a funny notion. The war was sold to us. Complete with logos and post scored theme music. The shame we felt of “Shock and Awe” rendered as theater to a world audience while we patted our selves on the back and watched in real time the terrifying bombing of the Iraqi capitol, with little regard to the innocents.
Today, we know that there were no nukes. There were no chemical weapons. Three teams, one more competent than the next found no smoking guns, in a land quite literally filled with smoking guns.
Today Iraqi has shown more strength and resiliency and one can argue really not much more violent than the United States is. But the cost of this war was far higher than the results are worth. We botched the occupation. And the fact is we were lied to.
And they got away with it.