The headlines yesterday really pissed me off: “Iraq May Be Just One Step Away From Full-Fledged Civil War.” Now correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t we spend about a decade, and endless billions, and countless human carnage for the express purpose (allegedly) of improving and uplifting Iraq’s society. And now we find, a decade later, that things are just as bad, if not worse than ever. In fact, correct me if I’m wrong: we didn’t accomplish a damn thing!!!
Its weird to me. I remember all the debate back in 2002. All the reasons that Bush and Cheney and all the other “experts” were feeding us for why we should INVADE IRAQ. And the BILLIONS spent towards that end. And then, 10 years later, WHATTAYA’ KNOW?? Nothing came of it. And its just like “ho hum.”
But what gets me. Remember all the debate in 2002? All the arguing. All the expert opinions. It was important enough to go to war over. And now, 10 years later, its like. “Oh well it was just a bunch of bullshit after all. Ho hum.” And nobody is held accountable. And nobody even cares. The American people would just as well forget about it and focus on Justin Beiber and the Super Bowl. Aside from the vets with blown off limbs who can’t forget about it. And its just so ANTI-CLIMACTIC how the whole thing peters out.
I mean, has there even been a single Hollywood movie about the War in Iraq? I don’t follow movies much, so I could be wrong, but I can’t think of any. No movies commemorating our great victories. And no movies commiserating over our tragic defeats. Nothing.
I remember Bush invaded Iraq shortly after 9-11. So for the first couple days I took a wait-and-see attitude. For all I knew it could prevent another 9-11 type attack. I’m not privy to the intelligence reports, after all. And I don’t follow foreign affairs that closely, so what do I know.
But I remember this distinctly. A couple days after the invasion Bush started making speeches about “bringing Democracy to the Iraqi people.” I remember thinking: “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!”
Why did we go there in the first place? According to the far Right, “Israel was behind it all.” Now I don’t doubt that Israel exerts a powerful influence over our foreign policy. But I think there were a lot of other factors. According to the far Left, it was “all about getting Iraq’s oil.” But that seemed like a red herring, too. As far as I know we never got our hands on Iraqi oil. By accident or design, Iraq seems to control most of their oil supply today.
I suspect there were a lot of other factors that pulled us into that debacle. Former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney, for instance, famously awarded Halliburton a 7 billion dollar contract right from the outset. Then there was Bush Junior, all gung-ho to finish the job that Daddy started with Saddam Hussein. And there was also this prevailing attitude of “Lets get them Aye-rabs!” coming from both the military and the public after 9-11. To name but a couple factors.
I generally agree with the idea that it was Dick Cheney who mostly came up with the policy ideas. And George Bush’s job was basically to sell them to the public. But according to books I’ve read, even Bush soured on Cheney about half way through his second term, and froze him out. Apparently Bush finally became pissed at Cheney for how he’d been duped by all the WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION bullshit. That George, quick as a whip. Catches on eventually.
But in retrospect the whole thing just seems like an incredible waste. I’ve heard horror stories from people in the military about how many BILLIONS we wasted, in typical military fashion, supposedly building up Iraq’s infrastructure. All these hare-brained projects building sewer systems and schools and etc. But none of the projects were coordinated with each other and they mostly all collapsed.
And the far-fetched notion of bringing “democracy” to Iraq. Holy Geeziz!! Not only was it a hopeless idea from the beginning, considering the people of the region have no history or affinity with the concept. It was condescending to impose it on them in the first place.
It was obvious to anyone with half a brain (a category that apparently didn’t include George W. Bush) that the minute we disposed of Saddam Hussein it was inevitable that a civil war would result from the power vaccuum. And now, 10 years later, the newspapers announce it like its late-breaking news.