I never agreed with the war or its basic idea. Generally I do not agree with the concept of war at all, though I do have to admit there may be times that no other alternatives work. But most wars are meaningless wastes of life.
The Iraq war did not begin only ten years ago. Do not forget that Desert Storm began almost 23 years ago. War and warring and attacks and sanctions have been levied against Iraq for a long, long time. As bad as those things are, until Desert Storm they were always just a bit shy of all out war.
When Bush Jr. pushed us to war, I knew it was under false pretenses. That information was out there for us all to see, but a lot of folk turned a blind eye. 911 had the country itching for a fight with someone, anyone. Why not some far away place with a funny sounding name, especially when Cheney and Rumsfeld were telling us all how bad Hussein was?
I said at the time that war was not the way. If we really wanted to control oil rich rebellious countries, we should have taken the money and time we would spend on the war and invested it in developing a reliable, reusable alternative to oil. Develop that alternative and you make the riches below their feet worth little. Make their wealth disappear and they wouldn’t spend so much money on guns and bullets. They would become more concerned with survival. Sanctions would really hurt and there would be an increased desire to talk and negotiate. On top of it all, we would have the energy system of the centuries to come, which we could then sell to anyone.
Instead, we went to war. We sacrificed lives, both ours and Iraqis, and in my opinion it was all for nothing. The Middle East isn’t any more calm than it was. It isn’t any more safe. Democracy is illusive, if it exists at all. And if it does exist, it is because of the Egyptian people themselves, not because of anything that the U.S. has ever done in that area of the world.
I am not an isolationist, not by any stretch of the imagination. But I am not a hawk. Quite the contrary, I am a dove. War is meaningless, worse that meaningless, it is a mindless waste. We could solve our financial problems if we greatly reduced our war machine. We can catch more flies with honey than we can with vinegar. We should build bridges rather than bomb them.
Ten years later our military is larger, the Middle East is less stable, and terrorism is spreading to Africa and other continents. When will the hawks learn to lower their guns and reach out an open hand?