Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Where Did You Stand 10 Years Ago? Where Do You Stand Today?

"Mission Accomplished" 2003 (AP)
Some of us must remember why George Bush and his cronies said it was important to go to war 10 years ago in Iraq. Some of us didn’t agree and thought the reasons were phony and destructive to our country. And the reasons turned out to be phony and destructive to our country.

What puzzled and disturbed me was that many of my fellow citizens believed that Saddam Hussein was connected to the 9/11 attacks— and that connection somehow justified the invasion. It never was true.

In fact, a lot of crap got passed on as truth over the last 10 years. From the McClatchy News Service, which ones of the following are true?

  • Iraqis greeted U.S. troops as liberators.
  • At least women’s rights have improved post-Saddam.
  • The Sons of Iraq project, also called Sahwa or “Awakening,” was a successful strategy to isolate extremist in the war zone.
  • The bombing of the golden-domed al Askari shrine in Samarra in February 20006 touched off the brutal sectarian ware that would engulf iraq for the next two years.
  • Sovereignty was restored in 2004, with the U.S. Occupational authority handing over power to interim leader Ayad Allawi.
  • The “surge” strategy of sending 20,000 additional U.S. Forces to Iraq in 2007 was the catalyst for a turnaround in the war, bringing enough calm to the country for the U.S. Military to stay on schedule for withdrawal.
  • As of the end of 2011, there’s been a full U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

Alas, none of those are true— but does anyone care anymore? George Bush and his cronies can go write their memoirs; we and the Iraqi people will be paying for the Iraq War for years to come.

Learn anything? I’d have hoped we had after Vietnam.

Just like I hope we’d have learned about assault weapons and high-capacity magazines after the killing of children and teachers in Newtown.

I hope because it’s too hard to stay angry for too long.

--Mike Sato


  1. I guess it's rude to bring up Vietnam, and the fact that the horrible mistake of starting a war against indigenous people based on lies was repeated like it had never happened.

    My comfort is knowing that the neo-con perpetrators of the Iraq war were thoroughly hornswaggled by Ahmed Chalabi and his band of phoney Iraqis to believe that Saddam was oppressing everyone and the whole population would welcome US troops as liberators, grant the US permanent bases and access to cheap oil, when in fact Saddam was the leader of the Sunni minority. The neo-cons ignored the 700-year old Sunni/Shiite blood feud. In effect, US troops defeated Iran's mortal enemy for them. Now Iran has effective control of Iraq, and the US has no influence there and has no access to Iraq's oil.

  2. What's wrong with a foreign policy that embrasses perpetual war?

  3. Very good post, Mike. To answer your question, I stand in the same place today as 10 years ago - knowing that war was utterly wrong, and appalled at so much of the US's foreign policy (and of course increasingly appalled at my own government's policies as well - Harper having learned his ropes from Bush). Like you, I suspect, I have have lost count of the times I could easily say "I told you so", but there's no comfort on that phrase, alas. Still, I agree, it's too hard on the soul to be angry, so let's hold onto our hope, no matter how far-fetched it might seem.


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