“I don’t want to just end the war, I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place.”
-Barack Obama, January 2008
The ten year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq has brought much attention, and rightfully so, to the lies that seduced us into that eight year catastrophe. Little attention has been given to the ethnocentric, cowardly, and frankly deplorable national psyche that made the deception even possible.
Had we not been lied to, had they been right, had Saddam Hussein weapons of mass destruction, had he ties to Al Qaeda, had he been on the verge of a nuclear weapon, had Mohamed Atta met with an Iraqi official in Prague, had yellowcake been served up in Niger, had all of Colin Powell’s UN testimony been irrefutable; had every last bit of it been true, we still had no right, no goddam right at all! No right to kill, maim, dismember, disfigure, burn and otherwise destroy the lives of a million Iraqi civilians and displace millions more for the purpose of our own safety. The preventative war, as presented, was an act of extraordinary cowardice. We should all be very ashamed that we, as a people, deemed it appropriate for so many “over there” to suffer so tremendously for our security, even if we had actually been exposed to some real risk.
The mindset that life is cheap over there, that American lives are the only ones that matter, that it is right that we fight them over there rather than on our own turf, is a mindset I find reprehensible and a source of great embarrassment. Yes, ten years later I am ashamed of the political administration that insisted on that unnecessary and disastrous war. I am also ashamed of the mindset of the American people that made the whole con job possible in the first place.