Five years ago today, America, under the mis-leadership of George W. Bush, invaded Iraq. The purpose, as proclaimed by the President, and dutifully regurgitated by the media, was to dismantle the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. There was just one little problem…
The fact that there never were any WMDs didn’t phase Bush or his bloodthirsty enablers in the administration or the press. A half decade hence has produced 4,000 dead American soldiers, 30,000 wounded, and untold lives ruined by loss and disability, physical and psychological.
And what of the Iraqis? Estimates range from 60,000 to 1.5 million dead – and counting. In exchange for this gruesome sacrifice, the Iraqis got a still dysfunctional government, four hours of electricity a day, plundering of their oil resources, 2 million refugees, civil war, and no observable end to the occupation and the grief.
On the home front, Americans, now almost a trillion dollars poorer, are still subjected to the same sort of lies that got us into this mess. President Bush, absent any evidence, insists that we’re winning. Presidential candidate, John McCain, has no problem staying another hundred years. And the media prevaricators that steered our tragic course continue to guide us into ever-stormier seas.
Despite this apparently pessimistic appraisal, there is reason for hope. The world community has been steadily distancing itself from the U.S. agenda of aggression. The American public is overwhelmingly opposed to the war. And an election in November may yield a thorough uprooting of the party of warmongers. While none of this will undo the horrors of the past five years, it may set us on a more ethical course.
It is long past time for this country to abandon its arrogance and aspirations for empire. The American people do not wear oppression well. Five years is too long to impose such hardships on those who have done us no harm.
This war must end, and it must end NOW!