Don’t Forget Iraq
News is coming in on the most bloody bombing in Baghdad in two years. The temporary lull in violence there, at least in relative terms, has allowed Americans to forget about the precarious nature of the occupation. We have a president who as a politician opposed the Iraq war before it started, but by summer 2004 he was saying, “There’s not that much difference between my position and George Bush’s position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who’s in a position to execute.” By 2008, before the election, he was saying the surge was working beyond our “wildest dreams.” But the “success” of the surge was largely due to the U.S. bribing and arming militant factions in Iraq. Also, the Iranian government put pressure on Iraqi Shiites to calm down their belligerence. This could all blow up, and certainly if the U.S. decides to rattle its saber at Iran. Americans would prefer to forget the U.S. occupation of Iraq, marking the imperial mindset, but the U.S. will soon have been occupying the nation for seven years, and, unfortunately, another explosion in mass violence might be the only thing that makes Americans remember the significance of this fact.