America’s Iraq Experience: Invasi-Eradicavi-Turbavi – OpEd


Julius Caesar undoubtedly was showing off with his Veni-Vidi-Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered) when referencing to his short war outside Zela (Zile) in Turkey over two millennia ago.

Similarly, if we were to use a short catchy-comment for the almost nine years America has invested in its “Iraq Mission,” we would be on target by condensing the US experience in also three Latin words, although not as melodic this time: Invasi-Eradicavi-Turbavi which sadly stand for, I invaded, I destroyed and I threw-into-chaos.

No matter what the Pentagon and White House tell us, the fiasco in Iraq likely stands as the most costly mistake in America’s history, a true Keystone Kops type of political dark comedy. And it wasn’t a bad or flawed decision by a singular moron or group of morons – Bush the Younger, Cheney and Loquacious Rumsfeld composing the original warpath triumvirate, together with two dozen equally deranged staff of their inner circles. Unfortunately, this time Congress, together with a brainwashed public, closed rank with an evil and criminal White House. So, whether the American citizenry likes it or not… the Iraq conflict wasn’t just Bush’s war, but “the peoples’ war,” a war with a dangerous aftermath yet to come, one we’ll likely be paying for in the future with additional blood and treasure.

American mainstream media, true to their corporate ownership, are bringing us the images of the GIs returning home together with some white-washed commentary. The corporate media is careful not to turn this December event into a celebration, but grotesquely over-simplifies this empire’s adventure by summarily giving its cost as “an expensive war with 4,500 American casualties and 100,000 Iraqis killed.” There you have it: the sum total of our criminal intervention under the cry of “Democracy and Freedom”! In 1099 AD, it was the cry of Deus vult (God wills it) that led Christianity to its First Crusade and the capture of Jerusalem. Now it’s the pseudo-patriotic cry of defending our freedoms which takes to war thousands of miles away. Totally inane!

Yes, it has been (and continues to be) an expensive war, the true figures not properly made public. And, yes, the number of US casualties is probably around 4,500. But those 100,000 Iraqi deaths are only a fraction of the 500,000 to 1,000,000 range given by most credible accounts. However, even these figures don’t begin to tell the true holocaustic implications of decisions made in the White House during the months leading to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

What about the tens of thousands of US soldiers wounded or maimed? Or the hundreds of thousands of American military personnel mentally wounded? What about the millions, yes, millions, of Iraqis displaced from their homes? What about the suffering and depravation of the Iraqi population for many years after the invasion – water, electricity, safety concerns? What about the indignities suffered by an occupied people, where crimes committed by the occupying military were not properly punished… does anyone remember the incidents in Fallujah and Haditha among others?

It’s certainly not our intent to revisit the war, or to touch on Americans’ ignorance of what the war was all about. Our purpose is not to follow course in the treatment of the inefficacy of a war, whether in the battlefield or the Iraqis’ hearts, as the media seems to be portraying this great misadventure. We would like to take it a step further, truly show the idiocy of an empire whose civilian, military and academic leaderships were incapable to read history and, in the most basic fashion, extrapolate from it.

As the Ottoman Empire was dismantled in 1920, it was the League of Nations that really created the nation of Iraq, giving it its borders and putting Britain in charge. Ironically, it was a secular dictator, Saddam Hussein, who maintained rule and order in a country ethnically and religiously divided; and doing so with a Sunni minority, without true adherence from the Shiites and open defiance by the Kurds.

America’s introduction of democracy has consolidated the power of the majority Shia over the Sunnis, with Kurds exercising a great level of autonomy in their region. For the US, the political bottom line, outside of a shaky hand on the oil, could not have been any worse: Shiites don’t feel any sense of gratitude to America for being handed the power, and the ability to exact discriminatory-revenge against the Sunnis. In fact, inadvertently, the US has been matchmaker to the romance taking place between Iran and Iraq.
Is the rebirth of the Persian Empire something imminent as Iran achieves the status of being the next nuclear power?

The last 18,000 American troops are coming home from Iraq this month. We ask ourselves if the White House and the Pentagon are planning to send 500,000 more in the near future as Israel prepares to defend its nuclear hegemony in the region.

Ben Tanosborn

Ben Tanosborn is a syndicated columnist. Over a decade ago he started writing a weekly sociopolitical column, 'Behind the Mirror,' hoping to bring new perspectives that would allow us to see ourselves with borrowed eyes. He can be reached at [email protected]

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