This is a useful comment by Dexter Filkins on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War:
“Today, in 2013—a decade later—it’s not fashionable to suggest that the American invasion of Iraq served any useful purpose. It was a catastrophe, born of original sin—of lies and exaggeration and trumped-up intelligence. How many times have you heard that this week? There are a hundred thousand dead Iraqis, more than four thousand Americans killed, and a bill for a trillion dollars. Indeed, the near-universal certainty that America’s war in Iraq was nothing but bad is as widespread and unbreachable as the notion, in 2003, that Saddam had to go.
But what are we to make of Iraqis like Al-Musawi? Or of torture chambers like Al Hakemiya? Where do we place them in our memories? And, more important, how should they shape our judgment of the war we waged? I’d say: Ask the Iraqis—that is, if anyone, in this moment of American navel-gazing, can be bothered to do so. My guess is that the answers would be richer and more surprising than the one-dimensional debate we are engaging in at home.”
Read the complete article here
Surprising? Probably. If only because you would get a completely different answer in Sulaymaniyah than in Tikrit.
By the way, Dexter Filkins’ book “The Forever War” is highly recommended.