War is not a game, and the statistics are not just numbers. These are real people, with real lives, and real families. The best thing we can do, today, is to remember their stories.
On Tuesday, at this 10th anniversary of the American Invasion of Iraq, we would do well to remind ourselves about some painful facts. So, let us recall five unfortunate facts about the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
How is it that there is no palpable sense of soul searching associated with the 10th anniversary of a war based on officially concocted lies and a policy of torture? It is because the presumption of a unique American claim to an original and enduring innocence perseveres, no matter the death and destruction.
On the decennial of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the persons responsible have shown remarkably little guilt over launching an unprovoked war of aggression, even when the lamentable results might be expected to give one pause to rethink the enterprise.
Ten years ago our "leaders" in the government, the corporate media, and the "national security" establishment assured us that invading Iraq was in our national interest.
The Kurdish entity born out of the invasion in Iraq and the uprisings in Syria resulted both in exaggerated expectations and fears. This state, which in fact coincided to fears and expectations about Sykes-Picot, prevented a healthy analysis and discussion of the issue.
Ten years after the failed Iraq war, secret legal memos reveal Obama is using the same fear-mongering tactics of 'imminent threats' of evil to justify his drones program as Bush did to justify invading Iraq under his 'pre-emptive' doctrine.
Whichever way momentum flows, the post-9/11 decade, from Iraq through the global financial crisis, will be remembered as an extraordinary period in terms of international opinion volatility towards the United States.
"I am joining my colleague John Brady Kiesling in submitting my resignation from the Foreign Service (effective immediately) because I cannot in good conscience support President Bush's war plans against Iraq."
It was not a war that needed to be started at the time. Our interests were less than vital and we had alternatives, but I believe the president decided to go to war not so much because of the belief that the Iraqis possessed weapons of mass destruction, but more for three other reasons.
Somehow, we need to do more to maintain a focus on the humanitarian disaster that is Syria, and to provide a tiny flicker of hope that the worst will soon be over.
If only the actual drone program, and the strategic thinking that underlies it, were to undergo the same sort of review as a little contraption of cloth and medal.
Is it not ludicrous to try to ease our budget problems on their backs? Why not shrink the force to numbers that can be managed -- not merely from a training standpoint, but from a perspective of properly caring for those who perform society's most onerous job?
War is a force that has given me meaning. When I came home, it was war that ultimately forced me back into the mountains and into wilderness. I learned of the joy of an alpine start and a mountain top sunrise.