This week marked a significant anniversary – a full decade since the terrible invasion of Iraq by the U.S. – under completely false pretenses.
All one can do now is lament the dubious or rather, completely disastrous decision by Dubya.
What did it result in at the end?
More than 100,000 Iraqi civilians and 4000 Americans lost lives. And countless families were forever and tragically impacted because of an unnecessary war.
This week, virtually every publication had articles and photographs that documented the war and reminded us of its heinous repercussions. As I read them, I couldn’t help but feel for all that went wrong and all that could have been prevented – with one right decision.
I have pulled from a few of these images and write-ups – not to celebrate but to remember and honor those who served in this ill-advised venture.
Here are some of the iconic images of this shameful war (courtesy: Foreign Policy magazine).
A Decade of Despair
Published in the NY Times is this editorial by Ahmad Saadawi, a writer in Iraq. It is called A Decade of Despair. He writes –
AN Iraqi saying claims that those who endure one day just like the next have been dealt an unfair hand in life. During the 1990s, when I was in my 20s, this saying was frequently invoked. In those stagnant times, it seemed nothing ever changed, so much so that looking back, I can barely differentiate between 1997 and 1998.
Those days came to an end 10 years ago today, when United States forces invaded Iraq. The contradictions that had been contained under Saddam Hussein burst forth into the open. Lives were uprooted in the process. It is no surprise that, a decade later, some people find themselves yearning for the ’90s.
Read more here.
Cheney Marks Tenth Anniversary
Andrew Borowitz is at his satirical best in this column – Cheney Marks Tenth Anniversary of Pretending There Was Reason to Invade Iraq. I can’t help but reproduce some of it here –
In a sombre ceremony attended by former members of the Bush Administration, the former Vice-President Dick Cheney marked the tenth anniversary of making up a reason to invade Iraq.
The ceremony, held on the grounds of the Halliburton Company headquarters, brought together the former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and other key members of the lying effort.
Calling the assembled officials “profiles in fabrication,” Mr. Cheney praised them for their decade of dedication to a totally fictitious rationale.
“Making up a reason to invade a country is the easy part,” Mr. Cheney told them. “Sticking to a pretend story for ten years—that is the stuff of valor.”
Read more here.
The Last Letter
And finally, this moving letter from a dying veteran of the Iraq war. This letter – the last letter – is addressed to George W Bush and Dick Cheney. Here is an excerpt:
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Read more here.
I said earlier that it appears that all one can do ten years later is regret and repent the terrible decisions made with this war. But perhaps not. If what this country did is learn some hard lessons instead, perhaps there is something valuable that can be gained.
The lesson worth learning most from this dreadful decision to invade Iraq is that this is something that should never, ever be repeated against any country. Period.