The news is rife with stories the last few weeks about the breakdown of Iraq. The stories attempt to convey a sense of surprise and dismay that it is happening, particularly for the troops, who “question what their service has accomplished.”
I wanted to say something like “I’m surprised anyone was naive or stupid enough to think this would work in the first place,” but then I remembered that it was George W. Bush who sent us into Iraq in 2003.
I was painting my apartment that night in March 2003 when I heard we were invading Iraq again, and my first thought was “quagmire.” Thanks to Barack Obama, we got out of the quagmire. Maybe he recognized the flaw in the mission in the first place.
Of course the flag-waving conservatives gave the war the lame, naive name “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” which telescoped their fundamental lack of understanding of nations like Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and on and on, which is this: if they wanted American-style democracy, they would have it. Long ago.
The American voter must be pretty naive as well to believe there’s ever a good reason for America or NATO or the United Nations to invade and occupy any country. We don’t invade to save anyone. We invade to possess and dominate. We invade to bully. We invade to make the world American.
In one of the stories I read last week, it said we spent a trillion dollars on the war in Iraq. Can you possibly imagine what a trillion dollars could have accomplished in America in that same time period? Education. Sustainable energy. Health care. The environment. Real freedom.
Okay, now I’m the one being naive, thinking that great nations can commit their energies for good.