AUTHOR’S NOTE: If you don’t want to challenge your optimistic beliefs on the U.S. War in Iraq, or are offended by patriotic criticism, please skip this post.
Upon researching the ancient, now-ruined city of Babylon, I discovered that its remains lie 55 miles south of Baghdad. The nearest modern-day city is named Al Hillah and “was the scene of relatively heavy fighting in the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq,” according to Wikipedia.
Given what we’ve known since 2005, I was embarrassed to read that last line, “in the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.” It’s still difficult for me to consider that the United States invaded anyone, much less Iraq on false, reportedly fabricated premises.
Sure, Saddam was a douche, and Iraq will likely be better off in the long run (provided its citizens, not the U.S. government, make it happen), but is it my country’s job to ostracize every tyrant in the world, of which there are many? I don’t think so, especially on my tax-paying dime (I’m a hansom capitalist, mind you).
In a 2003 White House radio address to the American people, President Bush said the reasons for the invasion were “to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.” I think it’s now obvious that those are probably the three most insincere justifications of all time for America going to war (and I believe war is justified as a last resort). For shame.
According to the Center for Public Integrity, President Bush’s administration made a total of 935 false statements between 2001 and 2003 about Iraq’s alleged threat to the United States. I have no idea who the CPI is, but given what I’ve witnessed, have seen on a handful of PBS Frontline documentaries, and have researched online (never watching CNN and Fox News mind you), I believe at least half of that disturbing number to be true.
Speaking of commercialized television media like CNN, Fox, CBS, and others, it’s just as embarrassing how biased they’ve covered the war, often times reporting the news at face value. Remember that famous April 2003 toppling of a Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad shortly after the invasion? It seems military officials staged the act.
Said staff sergeant Brian Plesich of the incident: “The Marine Corps colonel in the area saw the Saddam statue as a target of opportunity and decided that the statue must come down. Since we were right there, we chimed in with some loudspeaker support to let the Iraqis know what it was we were attempting to do… Somehow along the way, somebody had gotten the idea to put a bunch of Iraqi kids onto the wrecker that was to pull the statue down. While the wrecker was pulling the statue down, there were Iraqi children crawling all over it.”
And U.S. television media said the toppling was by Iraqi initiative. Oops.
But all isn’t lost, and I don’t think the U.S.’s reputation is beyond repair. But it seems the only way to fix the mistake is to offer a public apology, pull out our troops, suffer the consequences, and extend at-large support to Iraqi officials willing to fight for their country’s future on their own behalf. The American Revolution wouldn’t have been much if someone else fought it for us, now would it?
What’s more, the Iraq War has cost the struggling U.S. economy an estimated $3 trillion. U.S. taxpayers have footed an estimated $1.9 trillion altogether, while home values plummet (thanks to eager banks and naive developers), oil prices near unbearable levels, and the U.S. dollar approaches peso-like value abroad.
I’m doing a facepalm right now.
DISCLOSURE: I voted for Bush in 2004 because I admired his leadership in 2001-2002, when America was frightened and hurting. I now regret that decision after his administration mislead the country to war with Iraq instead of beheading the cavemen responsible in Afghanistan, used fear to draft an unconstitutional Patriot Act that infringes on my privacy, created the pointless TSA which makes me remove my shoes in an airport, implemented the No Child Left Behind Act that stupefies our children, spent more money than any other president in U.S. history (liberal, conservative, or otherwise), left disenfranchised Americans to drown in a major U.S. city for an entire week in 2005, and held that ridiculous “Mission Accomplished” charade in 2003. I would do a triple cartwheel if Ron Paul had a chance of being elected President, but will write-him-in just the same come November.