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The Iraq War is over?

December 15, 2011, 9:37 PM

So apparently the big news today is that the Iraq War is over. It’s an announcement that’s come eight years, eight months, and 26 days later than it should have (truth be told, it should never have even started), but it’s better late than never.

Of course, I’m not entirely sure if I want to believe our government when they say that the Iraq War is over. I want to believe them – I really do – but considering that the Iraq War was built entirely on lies from our federal government, I have no reason to take them at their word. How many different rationales were there for our going in? Weapons of mass destruction? Yellowcake uranium? Bring freedom to the Iraqi people? Bringing the fight to them before they bring it to us? Others? As it turned out, there were no weapons of mass destruction. The yellowcake was a lie. The first victory announcement (“Mission Accomplished”) in 2003 was a lie.

We also expended scads of money – much of it off budget – for a war we should have never been in, while people go hungry in this country, while teachers must spend their own money on necessary school supplies, and while we still don’t have universal public health insurance (don’t get me started on the shortcomings of Obamacare). And what did we accomplish in Iraq? Nothing. We are no safer today than we were when we went in. Our own freedom as a nation was never in question. No one fought for your freedom or mine in this war. The war was all about oil, and I don’t believe we even managed to get our hands on that (good!). Your tax dollars at work.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich put it best on his Facebook page:

4,421 US Deaths. 31,921 US Wounded. Over $806 Billion Spent. As the Iraq War “officially” ends today, it’s important we remember how it began — based on falsehoods and misinformation. We should never again put the lives of our brave soldiers at risk because of lies.

Let’s hope that the lesson of the Iraq War sinks in for future generations: fully vet your information before you go in. And don’t destroy other people’s countries and assassinate their leaders without solid reasoning for going in, and before exhausting all peaceful methods first. And our leadership should always have a firm goal and an end in view, which is more than could be said for this war. I can’t even say whether we “won” or “lost” this war, or if this was even something that could be “won” or “lost”.

Now, though, if the United States really is completely out of Iraq, it’s time for the Iraqi people to finally do what they need to do, and determine their own future and their own destiny, without the “help” of foreign occupiers. And we need to drastically reduce our spending on defense and “homeland security” and start tackling more pressing issues here at home. Last I checked, 99% of Americans are getting a bit of a raw deal these days on a lot of fronts, and that needs to change. And if you work for a paycheck and don’t get most of your money from capital gains, you are part of the 99%. So rather than screw around in other people’s countries, we need to show we’re serious about making American exceptionalism a reality and not just a talking point.

Meanwhile, if you see an Iraq veteran, please give them a hug. They have been through a lot and will likely never be the same again, and I will be glad to see all of our soldiers back in this country again.

But even if the Iraq War is really over, there are still many other abuses perpetrated by our government that must end, and our priorities need to be refocused on domestic issues, because we really shouldn’t be working to solve other countries’ problems until we get our own issues worked out (what do they say about the speck in someone’e eye?). There is still much to be done to get our country back on the right path, and so let’s get busy…

Web site: "A Protest Against the War" - my first Iraq War protest, and certainly not the last over the course of almost nine years.

Song: Yeah, I really don't have anything...

Quote: So the first thing we need to do now is get the money out of politics. Can we overturn Citizens United?

Categories: Anti-war, News