Well we are coming up on the 10 year anniversary of our invasion of Iraq and I think it is time to take stock on what we learned and what we accomplished. What we learned:
- Nothing. Most of our media failed us miserably in the lead up to the war and were led around by pronouncements from politicians instead of carefully fact checking and providing an alternate view. Dick Cheney and his henchmen carefully orchestrated a propoganda campaign and most of our media reported what he said, instead of examining the actual facts. See any difference today? And the same media personalities today still fail to recongnize their complicity in bringing us this war. See Bill Moyers definitive look at our media’s role : Buying the War
- Nothing. We are in Afghanistan which is another civil war where al Qaeda is a bit player and we are trying to sort out a country that cannot sort it self out. We think that more insurgency or better organization is going to sort out a tribal culture that can only sort out its own problems
What was accomplished:
- Well over two million Iraqis left Iraq
- We let the country degenerate into chaos because we had so little understanding of the social dynamics of the sectarian war
- We broke international law with torture and mistreatment of combatants and some not so combatant combatants
- We greatly reduced individual liberties and attacked our own cilvil rights and the right to privacy
- We created a whole contracted out CIA in Blackwater and other protection for hire contractors
- We created a giant opening to allow Iran to come play in Iraq
- We finally created the allusion of control when we basically bought off most of the militias
- We killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and wounded and killed tens of thousands of Americans, while incurring a responsibility to care for our own, which I might add, the Republicans are trying to shuck as they slash our budgets
- We did throw out Saddam, but the country is tending toward tyranny again as the sectarian factions maneuver to steal power from one another
- Today we have spent billions on a country sitting on a powder keg of civil war
So all in all boys and girls, aren’t we the greatest country in the world? The fact that we haven’t arrested Dick Cheney and George Bush and turned them over to the International War Crimes Tribunal to have them prosecuted for this disaster says all you want about how America faces its problems. Let’s just look ahead, not back behind us as President Obama famously told us in his great failure as a President.
Apparently one cannot learn from history anyway since in many ways this was a repeat of Vietnam and as Republican Louie Gohmert of Texas told us, we could have won that war if Washington had not given up. I wonder if he would mind defining winning. No, we learned and accomplished nothing while we wasted our treasury and our country languished. We can spend billions nation building elsewhere, but tax cuts for the wealthy are more important than nation building at home.