Twenty years ago, March 19, 2003, the US launched likely the most vicious criminal war in its long history of senseless warfare and regime change. America attacked Iraq, not just with no evidence supporting invasion, but manufactured lies. Hundreds of thousands were killed based on those lies.
The government propaganda was flag waving and relentless. This war was enabled by the 911 attacks which fueled US lust to remake the entire Middle East in its image. Corporate media rolled over to support a war they knew was unjustified. MSNBC fired popular host Phil Donahue because he dared tell the truth about US criminality. No antiwar advocate was given a public voice.
It came just 17 months after the initial criminal war to begin Middle East dominance in Afghanistan. The real prize of US conquest was Iran. A famous propaganda line was that the road to Iran runs from Afghanistan through Iraq and Syria. We waged warfare against all four in attacks large and small. By some miracle of restraint we have not yet launched all out war against Iran.
We still have 2,500 troops defiling Iraq to keep an eye on Iran. We still have 900 troops in Syria guarding the oil we’ve stolen from Syria and preventing its government from controlling one third of its own land. We won’t let Syria rebuild the nation we helped shatter. We were driven out Afghanistan by the Taliban who had way more popular support than the US after we pummeled Afghanistan for 20 years.
We’re still using life degrading sanctions to achieve regime change in the Middle East, Latin America and the Far East. This is warfare by a less explosive means.
Twenty years to the day we began bombing Iraq into ruin, we’re pouring tens of billions in weapons into Ukraine, ensuring its destruction in a war we could have prevented. Once started we could have ended it early on. Tragically, in 13 months the US has not made a single effort to negotiate the war’s end, the way virtually every war in history ends.
In those two decades American leaders have learned nothing. They risk bankrupting America to fuel their now proxy war against Russia to keep them out of the European political economy. With Ukraine nearing collapse, the risk of nuclear war grows. They view the loss in Afghanistan is one they cannot repeat against Russia, even though ending the war jeopardizes US security interests not a whit. Its negotiated end will save Ukraine in the process
March 19, 2003 should join December 7, 1941 as a US Day of Infamy. Except with March 19, 2003, America was the attacker.
Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.