Leaning to the Left

Writing from a liberal persuasion

Posts Tagged ‘Dick Cheney’

American Troops Leave Iraqi Cities…Please Remember

Posted by Beau Winiger on June 30, 2009

Today marks the first full day of American troops being absent in Iraq.  While there are still many troops and private contractors (they used to be called mercenaries, but that just sounds so barbaric), the majority of American troops have left the cities.  This is an important step in the draw down of American forces in Iraq, and a day that was celebrated by many Iraqis.  Such a momentous day in the history of the war should be used to remember what happened during this war.

In the first days, months, and years of the Iraq war there was a vocal opposition to the Iraq war.  There were many (and thankfully I count myself among them) who decried the impending war with Iraq, and were saddened by the invasion.  We saw this war as  being manufactured, a war that was embarked upon out of invention rather than necessity.  We asserted that the Bush administration’s claim that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction was false.  We claimed that the Bush administration was intent on pursuing a war with Iraq, and 9/11 simply provided the perfect excuse.  For these claims we were hounded as un-American and unpatriotic.  We were told that we hated our troops, and if we didn’t love America, then we should leave it.  Now, over 6 years later, we have seen our claims substantiated.  It has been released that George W. Bush himself stated that he wanted war with Iraq, it has been acknowledged by no less than Dick Cheney that there was never a tie between Iraq and al-Qaeda or 9/11, and it was quickly proven that there were no weapons of mass destruction.

Despite all this there are still those who would claim that the Iraq war was a good thing since it removed Saddam Hussein from power.  While I would agree that it is indeed better for the world and Iraq that Saddam Hussein is no longer in charge, this in no way should serve as basis for claims that the Iraq war was a good thing.  This idea of ends justifying means has seemingly been swallowed by many in the public and media, and it is saddening to see such a horrific precedent as unprovoked invasion pass by intact.

Many, many changes have come about in both the world and America since the invasion first took place.  America is a different country then it was back at the start of the invasion.  There have been so many stories taking place that have easily replaced the headlines about Iraq.  The saying that everyone has heard  “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (George Santayana)  serves as a wake-up call to all Americans.  If we simply move on from this war, treat this day as nothing special, then we will soon find ourselves embroiled in another war with a different country.  For all the coverage that the Iraq war gets now, you would be forgiven for forgetting that we are involved in a war where many American troops have lost their lives, and tens of thousands of Iraqis have met similar fates.

So let us use this brief chance, before Iraq is once again pushed from the headlines by the recession or the death of Michael Jackson, to remember why some people detested the idea of this war from the beginning.  The Right often claims that the Left is too quick to trust the government, but they must remember that it was leftists, not those on the Right, that could not bring themselves to swallow the government’s Kool-Aid.  And the Left must remember that for all their claims of diplomacy, they too were very quick to jump on the bandwagon when it came to saber rattling.  Let the Iraq war stand as testimony to the dangers of xenophobia and blind faith.  And next time (and there will be a next time, there always is) please let us not be so quick to hurl false charges and insults at those that would dare to question war.  We are not anti-American, but rather only hope that America can remain the great country that it so often is.

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