The revisionist history of the Iraq War (or how Dubya was right all along)
Former President George W. Bush’s gut instinct that this region craved and needed democracy was always right. It should have and could have been pursued with much better planning and execution. This war has been extraordinarily painful and costly. But democracy was never going to have a virgin birth in a place like Iraq, which has never known any such thing.
Some argue that nothing that happens in Iraq will ever justify the costs. Historians will sort that out. Personally, at this stage, I only care about one thing: that the outcome in Iraq be positive enough and forward-looking enough that those who have actually paid the price — in lost loved ones or injured bodies, in broken homes or broken lives, be they Iraqis or Americans or Brits — see Iraq evolve into something that will enable them to say that whatever the cost, it has given freedom and decent government to people who had none.
That’s Friedo explaining how the facts don’t matter (let’s let historians sort out that boring stuff,) and Dubya was right all along.
I mean, sure, the original justification for invading Iraq was that Saddam had WMDs (even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, all The Smart People knew those brown baddies are similar enough to warrant destruction,) and it was only when it became clear that Iraq didn’t have WMDs that the mission shifted to Importing Democracy, but that’s besides the point.
Historians will sort out that stuff.
Friedo’s New History accompanies a recent Newsweek cover story that declares “Victory At Last” across an image of Dubya striding across the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln after his famous “Mission Accomplished” speech. At the time, the world — rightly — mocked the sheer, brazen stupidity of that declaration. The US had just leveled an entire country over a lie. The only people who could declare the mission a victory were the evil trolls who financially benefited from the war.
Now, Dubya is being hailed as a prophet by some members of the mainstream media. To put it mildly, this reading of events is dishonest. It’s one thing to wish the best for Iraqis and commit aid to help them rebuild their country. It’s another thing to engage in revisionist history.
Iraq has been utterly, systematically destroyed by the US invasion and occupation. Some organizations estimate that around a million Iraqis have died since the US-led invasion began in 2003, and almost 4.7 million Iraqis have been displaced both within and outside Iraq. Calling these figures anything except “catastrophic” just doesn’t do them justice. Calling them “victorious” is an outright joke.
In order for a body to declare victory, the mission must be clearly defined. Of course, unless you’re living in the magical world of the Neo-Con where the mission crept from one of finding and killing Osama bin Laden to invading an entirely separate country in order to overthrow Saddam Hussein (because — ya’ know — he’s a baddie with weapons) to importing democracy For The Good Of The People (once it turned out those weapons never existed).
Oh, and during all of this, the prez and his buddies were torturing people, wiretapping our phones, and engaging in all kinds of exciting Constitution-shredding behavior.
How else can I put this? Oh, yeah: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Good luck, Iraq.
I know liberals like to think Dubya and his crew were so evil no one will ever, ever forget the lessons learned during the Bush years, but this kind of revisionist bullshit has a way of slowly seeping into the populace’s subconscious. After enough hours of hearing Liz Cheney talk about how rad her dad is, and reading enough of Friedo’s disgusting columns, people will start to believe this crap.
They might not suddenly stand up, salute the flag, and say the Iraq war was a good idea, but they may start saying, “Well, at least we brought those poor brown folk the right to vote!”