Baghdad 2014

As Iraq spirals into sectarian civil war, one of the recurring stories on American media outlets is the mixed feelings of the American veterans who served in the invasion and subsequent occupation. While it’s understandable that they are wondering whether their sacrifices were worth it (hint: no way), shouldn’t we be giving at least equal time to the Iraqis who are living through the consequences of our war there?

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8 thoughts on “Baghdad 2014

  1. From the point of view of the strategists in Washington, Iraq is going swimmingly – any pretensions the country may have had to being a regional power have gone down the drain, followed, as we see now, by its pretensions to continue to exist as a unified country – and, as always, much money has been made in the process by those who run the military-industrial complex (and the US itself). Of course, these weren’t quite the objectives painted for the troops, but generals rarely talk with privates (although they might talk to them from time to time)….

    Henri

  2. Ted,

    “While it’s understandable that they are wondering whether their sacrifices were worth it (hint: no way)”

    I don’t want to sound nitpicky. But I think this is actually a pretty significant point. Why is it “understandable” that the vets are wondering about whether their sacrifices were worth it? Plenty of people (and that includes a percentage of the vets) knew the war wasn’t worth it BEFORE the first soldier died. We knew it was going to be a fiasco, and that the end result would simply be a bunch of dead people, a country in civil war, and billions pissed away to government contractors.

    Sorry, vets, but if you are just now starting to wonder whether it was all worth it, you’ve left it to late. I don’t thank you for your “service.” I don’t thank you for keeping keep me “free.” I don’t thank you for any of the criminality you engaged in under the smokescreen of “liberating” Iraq. I’m sorry you lost an arm or a leg, or an eye or your mind, but that’s what a war is. They send you to steal for them and, for the most part, your chests swell up with pride over how you helped the world. But all you helped was a few people steal a little more.

    I don’t care whether the vets are beginning to figure it out now. The time for introspection and figuring was before the drones started dropping bombs on civilians and before Gitmo and Abu Ghraib. Enough with treating the vets like they were innocents. I don’t want to hear their conclusions. I want to hear their confessions. I want to hear their testimony at a couple dozen war trials. Just the other day, an 87-year-old was arrested for crimes during WWII. So don’t tell me it’s all water over the bridge and we can’t go after Bush and Condi and Cheney. I don’t care if Cheney’s on his third heart and dying by inches. I want him in an orange jumpsuit as the crimes are catalogued.

    And that’s mainly because the only chance we have of not having another 9/11 of some sort is if the world sees that we’ve finally sobered up to the point where we take our war criminals and put them on trial AND find them guilty AND sentence them. And we aren’t going to get that if we continue to worship the military and treat every high school dropout as though he is, somehow, greater and better and nobler than the rest of us. If it wasn’t for the uniform, you’d be glaring at him at Walmart for being unable to tell you which aisle has napkins.

    • Alex, obviously I agree with you that everyone could have and should have known in advance that this entire endeavor was immoral, illegal and misbegotten. I only say that it is understandable from their point of view. Many members of the military who thought they were going to Iraq to do something worthwhile were uninformed and poorly educated.

      • Ted,

        Yes. I know we’re on the same side on this. I guess my frustration is just over the inescapable obviousness of what goes on. It’s like seeing the magician-saw-the-lady-in-half trick done with a glass box. I simply can’t believe the other people in the audience don’t see it. They’re all acting like something absolutely inexplicable has happened, and it’s me and five or six people in the audience with our hands on our heads to keep our brains from exploding, shouting, “No. For fuck’s sake will you just look?!”

        And God knows, none of the media will discuss these topics.

        Too bad about the AARP card, Ted. Have you had your pants let out so that the tops come up to just under your ribcage?

  3. Your average American believes that Iraq failed because the Iraqis are a bunch of ungrateful savages (I see this attitude a lot on the discussion threads below Yahoo news articles), and while your average reporter likely knows better, he also knows which side his bread is buttered on.

  4. Yeah…those poor invaders just now figuring out what they were doing didn’t help. Makes ya wonder if the veterans were really in Iraq. Did it SEEM like it was going well at the time?

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