Tuesday, March 19, 2013

10 Years And A Million Dead And I Didn't Even Get A Lousy T-Shirt

So today marks the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. There's been a lot written about it today, some of which has been really good, but I'm assuming anyone reading this has already seen most of the good stuff. The saddest/funniest, though, would be this collection of cheerleading quotes from media and Bush administration officials in the first few months after the war when everything was going to be roses, "flowers and sweets*," and sunshine everywhere.

Of course, none of that happened. Basically every prediction the Left had for the war came out correct, a fact I pointed out over 8 years ago, and in fact, these arguments have only become more correct over those intervening years (quagmire, anyone?).

But just because we were right that the war was a terrible idea, would be meet with fierce resistance, and would not accomplish anything, doesn't make this a time to gloat. You know, because of those million or so dead people.

I'd normally go on a rant about how fucked up the run-up to war was, and how obvious it was the Bush administration was blatantly lying to get the war they wanted. But I won't, both because that has gone from accusation to widely-accepted fact, but mostly because I now know far too many Iraqis and Americans who have lost loved ones to that fucking lie.

Rather, I think it's best to leave it to uncle Kurt, who wrote one of the best passages on how I feel about remembering such military campaigns. You should really go read the whole of Cat's Cradle for the full speech (and because it'll be one of the best books you've ever read), but the relevant part is this:

“Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.” 

Today I really feel like rolling in the mud and grunting like a pig...

*Funny story about that phrase -- remember how Cheney and Rumsfeld used it repeatedly to sell the war? That many Iraqis had assured them they would be greeted with "flowers and sweets?" Well, after spending a god deal of time in Iraq, I've learned this is actually a common Iraqi saying that's basically like saying "it was nice to meet you." One of the main justifications for this whole fucking bullshit war was that Bush administration officials couldn't tell the difference between a nicety and a policy statement. That about sums up the whole thing for me.

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