Tag Archives: U.S. interventionism

Iraq War Lesson: the seduction may be sweet but the hangover is hell, by Peter Van Buren

As the U.S. has repeatedly demonstrated, it’s a lot easier to invade a country than it is to get out. From Peter Van Buren at responsiblestatecraft.org:

As with Iraq, there seems to be a coordinated mainstream media effort to drag America into a new war. Don’t let them.

Tomorrow is the 19th anniversary of Iraq War 2.0 — the one we fought over Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. What have we learned over the almost two decades since?

While the actual Gotterdammerung for the new order took place just six months ago in Afghanistan as the last American troops clambered aboard their transports — with Washington seeming to abandon American citizens, a multi-million dollar embassy, and the Afghan people to their fates. The Afghan War did not begin under false pretenses as much as it began under no pretenses. Americans in 2001 would have supported carpet bombing Santa’s Workshop. Never mind we had been attacked by mostly Saudi operators, the blood letting would start in rural Afghanistan and the goal was some gumbo of revenge, stress relief, hunting down bin Laden in the wrong country, and maybe nation building, it didn’t matter.

But for  Iraq, there had to be a seduction. There was no reason to invade it, so one had to be created. The Bush administration tried the generic “Saddam is pure evil” approach, a fixture of every recent American conflict. He gassed his own people, so it went (also tried later in Syria with Assad.) Also, Saddam was looking to move on NATO ally Turkey (substitute Poland in 2022.) But none of these stuck with the American public, so a narrative was cut from whole cloth: Saddam had weapons of mass destruction — WMDs, chemical and biological, soon enough nuclear. He was a madman who Had. To. Be. Stopped.

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