invasion 20 years ago was a war of choice and the US often blows off our dumbest choices, refusing to understand the how and why of our clearest fuckups. But our basis for war then was thin. The US made choices during that war that impacted the country very negatively, and the US failed to understand why or how until it was too late. The cost was high.
To me, the worst thing about it was the war of choice also lead to horrible choices at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere--the dehumanization of populations, the broken faith that we were supposed to be the good guys. That even now, we have a potential US Presidential candidate who sanctioned rectal feedings at Gitmo should appall us. He rose up in the GOP bestride a very horrific steed--the willingness to not just follow a multitude to do evil, but to lead a pack. Iraq was a proving ground of what was the worst in us. Our attempts to manage the government of Iraq by crisis, to use their tragedy to make bank should be taught in every classroom. It won't be, but it should.
The Bushes are probably a spent force in US politics, and Dick Cheney's contribution to the next generation of Republicans lost her career because she actually tried to do something right on the fight against Trump and the national security nightmare he posed. But the US ability to lie to ourselves isn't dead yet. We lied ourselves into the Iraq war. We told ourselves little lies about Saddam Hussein's WMD capability, and forgot they were lies along the way. What other lies can we tell ourselves tomorrow?
Did you know that the average age of folks in Iraq is young enough not to know the whole story? But do they know why their population is so unhealthy?
I will never not be mad at what my country allowed to happen there. It was a disgrace, a needless thing. Without the Iraq War--would there have been Isis? Can we even fathom the difference?
I recognize the anniversary with rue and a continuous concern that the US leadership doesn't always know what we stand for and at times, stoops to the occasion of our fears instead of rising to our values.