Thursday, May 01, 2014

Lest we forget

Eleven years ago, President George W. Bush told an audience of service members that in Iraq "mission accomplished" had arrived. Watch it only if you have a strong stomach.

When Bush made that speech, 172 U.S. military personnel had been killed. By the time we got out, dragging our tails between our legs, the U.S. toll was 4486. Iraq Body Count estimated the toll among Iraqis over the next 9 years to be somewhere between 110,937-121,227 civilian deaths. They counted

... deaths attributable to coalition and insurgent military action, sectarian violence and criminal violence, which refers to excess civilian deaths caused by criminal action resulting from the breakdown in law and order which followed the coalition invasion

Many estimates of civilian deaths were even higher.

There was a national election in Iraq on Wednesday. On Tuesday, bombs killed 24 people near Baghdad. Prime Minister Maliki has little to offer his long suffering people. But he promises to be strong. A strong man might look pretty good to Iraqis, especially the Shiite majority, these days. As of Wednesday night, my time, it looks as if the election was not much disrupted by violence. Good for the Iraqis -- but it remains unclear whether the society George W and his merry men tore apart can re-stabilize itself.


Rain Trueax said...

My husband heard a radio discussion on Iraq yesterday by one of the leaders who said expect this violence. He defended it as what they needed to do. That they would be killing Sunnis didn't bother him since he was a Shiite. It is very disillusioning that we stayed to try and form democracies in lands that don't want them for themselves. we see the result of it time and again. Very sad that the people have to live this way, that terrorism is their tool. We better just hope that doesn't end up how some decide they can get their way in our own country when they don't like how a vote went and they are willing to kill innocents to get their way :( This is Beltane, start of summer in Celtic rituals. Should be a day for joy like dancing around a May Pole. Sadly it's hard to feel joyful given what we see in the world and our own country right now :(

tina an Ayrab from Beirut said...

of course they are Ayrabs! how could they learn anything from the great, fantastic, democratic Americans who killed how many people around the world since World War II? and all this in the name of democracy of course. Who is more democratic than the USA!! Please stay home and do not "try and form democracies" anywhere. Please Please.

Hattie said...

How about some apologies? We ruined a country. How would we like it if a foreign power came in and wrecked everything, allowing our museums to be looted and killing our zoo animals? Perhaps Americans can understand that sort of thing. We love our museums and zoo animals, after all. As to this country being much of a democracy any more: dream on.
I personally promise to stay home and leave the Middle East alone. It's not much, but it's something.

janinsanfran said...

Today I listened to Dexter Filkins on Fresh Air. He recently wrote about the Maliki government in the New Yorker. Not a suggestion from Filkins that the horrendous mess in Iraq was something for which the US was at fault for launching a war of choice without moral or even prudential pretext. As with so much that is evil that we do, we did it because we could and now wash our hands of the consequences, consequences we don't like ... That program is as stomach turning as Bush's silly pronouncements.

Rain Trueax said...

I realize it is we as in we are a nation but how many of us were horrified when Bush-- both of them-- invaded Iraq. How many of us said no don't do this? We are stuck with the consequences of voting and a majority putting in a man who was reckless but I did not vote for him. I spoke out against both wars including staying in Afghanistan. If there was any justification for Afghanistan, it was get bin Laden, which didn't happen, and then get out.

This fighting wars brought on by hysteria in the press and one party is not new. I have been watching Rough Riders which is a docudrama about the Spanish American war and how we were duped into it with men buying into the need and paying a high price. Some say it was our first invasive war and set a pattern.

So we vote for someone we think won't do it and they do. What are we supposed to do about it? I refuse to take on more guilt than is my own. I have plenty of that but invading Iraq and trying to make it into something that we wanted to get their oil, that wasn't something I ever condoned and I spoke against it at the time-- both of the invasions.