Ten years ago today, the United States invaded Iraq under the pretext that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction. Six weeks later, President Bush stood under a banner reading "Mission Accomplished" and declared an end to major military combat operations. But Operation Iraqi Freedom would lead to an almost nine-year U.S.-military occupation.
Democracy Now! has compiled a new interactive timeline of Iraq War coverage over the past decade.
On March 19th, Democracy Now! highlights the findings of a massive report on the true costs of war by a team of economists, anthropologists, political scientists, legal experts and physicians. Some of the most compelling statistics documented are the number of the deceased, which is estimated to be at least 189,000, and the $2.2 trillion of U.S. taxpayers' money that funded the war effort. We're joined by the report's co-author, Neta Crawford, professor of political science at Boston University, to analyze the methodology and implications of the report.
We continue the discussion with Rae Jarrar, an Iraqi-American blogger and political analyst, who voices his concern about the staggering number of civilian casualties of the war, which he has devoted much time to surveying. He describes being home in Baghdad with his family when the bombing began, and that a decade later, he doesn't know anyone still in Iraq. "We've lost our country," he says, the war brought "the complete destruction of the Iraqi national identity. There is no civic identity in Iraq anymore, so people regressed to the other level that they can identify with, and that unfortunately is the sectarian affiliation." He discusses Iraq's current Shiite-Sunni divide, which he says was incited by the United States. Jarrar is currently the communications director at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Democracy Now! also spoke with renowned author and global justice activist Arundhati Roy about the Iraq War, which she has always been very critical of. Roy argued that the imperial mentality that enabled the United States to invade Iraq continues today unabated across the world.
"We are being given lessons in morality [by world leaders] while tens of thousands are being killed, while whole countries are shattered, while whole civilizations are driven back decades, if not centuries," Roy says. "And everything continues as normal." She elaborates on what she means when she calls U.S. foreign policy a collective psychosis here.
Roy says the global protests that preceded the Iraq invasion marked "perhaps the biggest display of public morality in the world." But with a "psychopathic situation" that still enables wars and global violence today, Roy urges that "we can't do anything, but keep being reasonable, keep saying what needs to be said."
Below is a sampling of Democracy Now! reports about the Iraq War going back to 2003.
The World Says No to War! Millions March in New York, Rome, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Melbourne, Sydney and France (2003)
An Hour with CNN's Aaron Brown On the Network's Coverage o the Anti-War Movement, the Sanitization of the War in Iraq (2003)
Sen. Kennedy Blasts Wolfowitz For Giving "Disingenuous" Testimony on Iraq (2004)
"I Rock Iraq:" Hip Hop Artist Michael Franti Speaks from Baghdad (2004)
Robert Fisk on Iraq Elections: Iraqis Voting for "Freedom From Foreign Occupation" (2005)
Exclusive: AWOL Iraq Veteran Turns Himself In Instead of Returning to Iraq; Faces Five Years in Prison (2006)
EXCLUSIVE: "I'm Scared Out of My Mind"-Live From Iraq, Active Duty Army Sgt. Speaks Out Against War Escalation (2007)
The Iraq Effect: New Study Finds 600% Rise in Terrorism Since U.S. Invasion of Iraq (2007)
Half a Decade of War: Five Years After Iraq Invasion, Soldiers Testify at Winter Soldier Hearings (2008)
So Wrong for So Long: Greg Mitchell on How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq (2008)
Iraq Vote in Limbo with Veto of Election Law (2009)
EXCLUSIVE: Blackwater's Youngest Victim: Father of 9-Year-Old Killed in Nisoor Square Gives Most Detailed Account of Massacre to Date (2010)
EXCLUSIVE: Fired Army Whistleblower Receives $970K for Exposing Halliburton No-Bid Contract in Iraq (2011)
U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq: "In Terms of Destroying Iraq, It's 'Mission Accomplished'" (2011)
"What Have We Been Doing?": Decorated Veteran Aaron Hughes to Return War Medals at Anti-NATO Protest (2012)
Share your thoughts about the Iraq War. Did you serve in combat? Did you, or anyone you know live in Iraq in the past 10 years? Where you out on the streets protesting the war? Democracy Now! wants to hear your stories. Join the conversation on our Facebook page.
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