Editor’s Note: it is my fault this post was delayed, the Chief did his part.
Today, 3/20/2023 is a day of reflection, as it marks the 20-year anniversary of the US invading Iraq. When looking back, I was a high school sophomore at the time. Our nation had gotten attacked on 9/11, our mission was to find those in charge, and eliminate them from earth. In hindsight, what happened on this date set the US back as a world superpower.
I was all for the invasion, you do not dare invade the US and live to tell the tale. We as a people, myself included, were gassed up by George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld saying we had intelligence on who did this. First it was radical Muslims, then jihadists, etc. John Bolton was another one of the cheerleaders for invading Iraq. But the worst was Colin Powell, yep, the “decorated” general who aspired to be President. He went in front of United Nations and gave a speech citing an intelligence document that Iraq had nuclear weapons and was hiding them. We had to move now.
Move we did. Even though Britain and Germany questioned the validity of this document, it didn’t matter. We invoked the article of NATO and had the backing of the largest alliance with us. We invaded Iraq. I was fully in support, at least for a while.
Then it turned out there were no weapons. None. Powell lied. Even though we rolled through Iraq and killed Saddam Hussein the worst was yet to come. Bush termed out of office and new President Barack Obama was sworn in, Colin Powell ditched the GOP for the Dems and basically kept the same job in the White House. Some liars get promoted or ignored, I still remember the democrats saying Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were war criminals, somehow Powell escaped that title. Just keep in mind the vote to go to war was 268-161 or something like that. Those in favor included John Kerry, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton mind you.
Iraq quickly became a quagmire, who would have thought right? We lost over 5,000 servicemen, and likely thousands of civilian contractors. Untold are the stories of our young people who came back stateside scarred for life from what they saw. Terrorists and those with nothing to lose do not fight fair. Roadside bombs, IED’s, and knife attacks leave a lasting horror story.
We did not free the Iraqi people, we just put different groups in charge of different zones. In essence it is a lawless nation now. Any mission we claim to have won, was pointless. Sure, we rid the world of a horrible man (that we kept in power for many years before turning on him), but is the situation any better? Bottom line is many in Iraq hate the US and all it stands for. We showed our collective rear end to the world. We feel we can just bomb any nation and rebuild it to look like ours. It will never work in this part of the globe. How many lives need to be lost and dollars squandered just to win a pyrrhic victory?
This reminds me so much of the situation of Russia invading Ukraine, even if Russia ultimately succeeds, Ukraine does not want to be occupied by Russia so violence and fighting will always be a thing. Never underestimate a country’s people who do not want to be under another country’s rule. It is for that reason I oppose our “helping” of Ukraine.