Posted by on August 19, 2010 in Blog
This war has been a calamity on too many levels. It has devastated and decimated the Iraqi people (leaving an untold number killed and one-fifth of the population either refugees or internally displaced due to a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign). It traumatized the region emboldening extremist movements and Iran, setting back internal democratic reform efforts that had been underway in Jordan and several Gulf countries. It did severe damage to America's standing across the world, while demonstrating the limits of our power (the opposite of the very goal that the war's foolish architects sought to accomplish). And it took the lives of 4,400 young American men and women, ruined the lives of tens of thousands more, costing the nation well over a trillion dollars.
A success? Hell no!
The big lies of this entire effort were not that we weren't told the truth about weapons of mass destruction or that the Bush crowd was playing fast and free hinting about a Saddam-9/11 link. The more consequential lies were that: the war would be a "cake walk" over in 6 days; that we would be welcomed with flowers; and that victory would usher in a new democratic order that would transform the entire Middle East.
The Bush crowd lied to us because they were itching for this war. They got it, but we and the Iraqi people have paid a bitter price.
From the beginning, President Obama has said that he was committed to a responsible departure from Iraq. Now we are leaving, as we must, but we have continuing responsibilities to the people of Iraq. Bush and company may have started this mess, but America still owns it. We are part of Iraq's history and must recognize that reality.