On this ninth Iraqiversary, it seems important to pause a moment to take a look at the past, present, and future of this most notorious quagmire.
When we invaded Iraq in 2003, I was 15 and vaguely supportive of the war out of a naive assumption that if they said we had to bomb Iraq to keep from being nuked, then bomb Iraq we must. Nine years later it is uncomfortably obvious (and indeed has been for quite a while) that I -- and quite a few other people at the time who lacked the plea of youthful error -- was wrong: "The most popular argument to support the Iraq war in 2003 was the one about Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs)….All of it turned out to be lies. Iraq didn’t possess a single WMD. Far from being a military threat to the West, the country quickly collapsed in the face of invading forces.”
As it soon became clear that WMDs were nowhere to be found, the ostensible mission switched to “spreading democracy” -- Saddam was a bad, bad man, and we must kill him. A bad man he was, and kill him we did, but at what cost?
Madeleine Albright may have thought that killing 500,000 Iraqi children (let alone adults) through sanctions in the 1990s was “worth it” to bend the erstwhile Mesopotamia to our will, but I can’t agree. I especially can’t agree in regards to the additional 600,000 to 1 million (or more) excess civilian deathscaused by the war following our 2003 invasion. Proportionally, this is analogous to killing everyone in Texas or California. If this is what it takes to spread democracy, can anyone honestly claim spreading democracy is a worthy cause?