Well, the Iraq War is over (click). Whoopee! Yay! Everyone sing “When Johnny Comes Marching Home!”
“Not” seems to be the operative word here. The War in Iraq is officially over, only half a dozen or so years after President Bush declared it more or less over. That jerk.
The silence of the victory bands is deafening. Tell flight suit boy to go land on another carrier, maybe that will do it.
But what did we expect? We invaded a country that didn’t attack us, using trumped up charges that that country might, somehow, maybe, could possibly pose a risk to us because of threatening “weapons of mass destruction,” but am I the only one who wondered what was up when they showed us a picture of a rickity model airplane-looking thing and told us that was how poison gas was going to be delivered to our shores?
Then they told us to buy duct tape and plastic sheeting because those evil terrorists were everywhere and very clever little fellows. Why did they tell us that? People afraid will approve anything, however stupid. Josef Goebbels said so, and he should know.
I had the pleasure of covering the anti-war protestors who stood, daily, in front of the Ogden Municipal building so very long ago. People in cars would honk and wave — sometimes with whole hand, sometimes with single fingers. Young men would scream their bloodlust.
It was a time of futile gestures all around — the war was coming, Bush had decided, it would happen, it only mattered when. Nobody in government gave a rat’s patookus what we, the people felt. The fix was in.
And Bush had to go and do it on my birthday, too, only one of many offenses for which I will never forgive him.
I covered the “shock and awe” thing, following the children of a few local families who were in the “Saints and Sinners” Marine Corps reserve unit, made up of kids from Utah and Nevada. Remember them? I dreaded the assigment because it could mean doing a story on some local kid who got killed, and some came very close in that first rush.
They got lucky, I got lucky.
Since then, of course, we’ve had dozens, hundreds, go over and fight, and a few killed. It is tempting to say we were lucky it was only a few, but say that to the families of those who got killed. They went and fought and died while the rest of us were told to go shopping.
And what did we win?
No clue. The war was sold on the promise that the troops would be home by Christmas and Iraq would be the key to democracy flowering in the Middle East with enough oil to pay us back with interest. Well, they are home by Christmas, just Christmas of 2011, not 2003. Iraqi oil hasn’t allowed Iraq to pay us back anything. We spent a trillion dollars over there, and counting, and I’ve seen some lovely T-shirts, but little else.
Yeah yeah, I know, we killed the evil Saddam Hussein. Whoopy-do. One evil dictator down, several dozen to go. Bush will go to his grave insisting Saddam’s removal was worth it all.
But if Democracy is flowering over there, it is a stunted little runt of a plant surrounded by thorn bushes.
What did we expect? You don’t take political beliefs that took 400 years to develop here, haul them over to a country that hasn’t known anything even remotely like them in 2000 years, and expect them to take hold just like that.
The Republicans — Romney for one — are criticizing Obama for us not staying in Iraq longer, for not solidifying the “victory,” whatever that means, but I can’t help but notice none of these people demanding a longer war are pushing their own children into the ranks to carry guns and dodge IEDs.
Romney, in 2008, said his kids were serving their country by working for his election, a hollow sort of patriotism, at best.
I also don’t hear them saying anything about raising taxes to pay for a longer war. These same budget fiscal “realists,” who scream to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting because we’re broke, think you can go buy a war andnot worry about the cost at all.
Bush paid for the war with the nation’s Visa card — he didn’t even have the honesty to put it into the budget; the entire war during Bush’s tenure was paid for as an off-budget “emergency” appropriation, a fiction that also allowed Bush to keep his own massive deficit smaller than it really was. Obama — silly man — ended the fiction and is now criticized by those same Republicans for raising the national deficit.
Obama said history will judge, and it will. Of course, if we look back and it’s another mess again — an exceedingly likely possibility — it will all be Obama’s fault, whereas if it turns out well it will all be Bush’s vision. Heads I win, tails you lose.
I’m just glad it’s over, and wish that exercise in futility we call the war in Afghanistan were as well.
Any time, President Obama. Tomorrow would be fine, today even better. We’re in that one 10 years, and still counting.
To those who say “we have to win because otherwise terrorists will invade us next,” or some equally foolish sentiment: Consider Vietnam.
During that mess we were told we were protecting America from communism, if we don’t fight the commies there we’ll have to fight them here, if we don’t stop them there they’ll spread all over and end up here and blah blah blah.
We did lose, the commies did win,and what happened?
Nothing. Now they’re our good buddies in commercial trade, complete with Most Favored Nation trading status.
I need to check but I think my underwear is made there.