We’d all like to forget our mistakes. Even the ones we learn from usually involve events we’d prefer not to think about or be reminded of on a regular basis. The key, though, is that we at least learn from our mistakes. Ignoring the mistakes we’ve made or pretending we didn’t make them at all is self-delusional at best.
Let us not forget that the Iraqi people wanted us out. They wanted us gone and to leave their country for good. And now, seeing cities in Iraq like Fallujah, Ramadi, Tikrit, Mosul and now perhaps Baghdad being overthrown and taken back by Al Qaeda doesn’t sit well with me and has me wondering that, in the grand scheme of things, was it all really worth it now? At the time, the Bush administration believed that American troops would be “greeted with sweets and flowers,” as one advocate put it, due to their effort to oust Saddam Hussein from power. But a decade after the war began, it is perhaps the costs—not the victories—that are most prominent: 4,488 American lives lost, more than 32,000 Americans wounded, and untold pain to those who came back traumatized by their experience. Even more so, what really pisses me off is hearing POTUS same time and time again, “Osama Bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda is on it’s heels and on it’s way to being defeated”, when clearly in the past 24 hours, that statement by Obama proves to be just another talley mark in a plethora of lies and deceptions.
Denying Al Qaeda safe-haven was the entirely legitimate justification for invading Afghanistan in 2002. Ensuring regional stability in the Middle East was why we re-took Kuwait from Saddam Hussein in 1991. By leaving Iraq in 2011 we created the conditions which would require US involvement in another war in Iraq. Secretary of State Kerry said the Iraqis will have to deal with Al Qaeda’s offensive in Fallujah and Ramadi. That it’s their war. Well, it may be their local war, but fighting Al Qaeda and ensuring oil keeps flowing from the Middle East has been the US’ war for decades. At some point I believe we will be forced to become involved again in Iraq even though the current administration says we would only give air support.
We should have stayed but at most, just stayed involved.
If we refuse to admit we made a mistake in leaving Iraq because we’re angry and embarrassed that we mistakenly invaded Iraq in the first place, we’ll only have greater problems to deal with in a few years’ time. Not talking about the war or trying to forget it happened is a disservice to those who fought and to those who will have to fight again someday.