The Iraq war was not a mistake – it was a crime

Reblogged from Free Your Mind – 19 Mar

U.S. Marine tank in Baghdad, April 14, 2003. Photo source: Wikipedia

As American combat troops left Iraq in December 2011, at that point, the war was largely forgotten by the American public. What remains in public memory are retrospectives of the war, especially on its ten-year anniversary. The dominant narrative is that the Iraq war was a mistake because of the lies or “faulty intelligence” that were used to justify it, costs to the United States, and the strategic folly of invading the country in the first place. However, the war was more than a mistake — it was a crime. Portraying the war as a mistake does three pernicious things: downplay the gravity of the crime, does not question the premises of militarism and permanent war, and perpetuates the myth of American benevolence. Cumulatively, these retrospectives amount to a gross revision of history.

Before the war

Many commentators argue that the Iraq war was based on “faulty intelligence” and attribute it to an honest lapse in judgment. Joseph S. Nye, a prominent liberal intellectual and former U.S. assistant Secretary of Defense, did so in a piece for Project Syndicate. In it, he said Bush was “not alone” in believing Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. He said that other countries believed Saddam had them. However, this is misleading and whitewashes the historical record.

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