When I walk into supermarkets I usually stop in front of the newspapers for a minute to read the headlines. This week, I saw one that seemed unusually candid: Prime Minister Asks Parliament To Forget Past, Vote For War.
There are some major differences between invading Iraq in 2003 and 2014. It seems that now there are worse people doing worse things; I agree. But what’s happened in that decade that may have created such a situation? War. Right, so what’s the solution? War! Flawless logic.
The Islamic State—the new enemy—is using tanks, explosives, guns and missiles that were originally given to the Iraqi army by the US and coalition partners. They are literally bombing their own bombs. If they were just digging a hole in order to fill it back in it would be bad enough. All that money and energy could have been used for things like education, debt service, poverty, infrastructure, etc. But it’s not just a destruction of resources; it’s a destruction of lives. People are dying. Villages and cities are being destroyed. Sure, the “enemy” is being killed, but so are lots of other people.
Forget The Past, Vote For War. In 2003, the US talked about “smart bombs,” and avoiding civilian casualties; estimates now are that one million civilians died as a result of that conflict. Forget The Past, Vote For War. The military destruction of the old enemy created fertile grounds for the new one. Forget The Past, Vote For War. Governments lied, distorted facts, and intentionally manipulated the public in order to justify their military objectives. Forget The Past, Vote For War.