The horrifying Iraqi carnage over the weekend brings to mind the ragged old bumper sticker that still scowls from the back of my car: “Iraq Is Arabic for Vietnam.” Those responsible for the U.S. invasion of Iraq–and they are not limited to one faction or one party–still try to assuage their guilt by portraying the endless domestic strife being suffered by that defeated and destroyed society as somehow demonstrating that the U.S. should prolong its colonial adventure. From a moral perspective (not that morality enters into their thoughts), one could perhaps argue that, “we broke it, so we must fix it.” But the Iraqi china being smashed by the American bull could be excused for having a different perspective.
Unfortunately, those who start wars are seldom held responsible for their sins…especially when they win. That failure of victorious societies to look in the mirror not only leaves the defeated in chaos but inevitably comes back to haunt the victors.
The slaughter generated by the U.S. invasion of Iraq continues, even as American politicians, desperate to avoid admitting their sins, race forward as fast as they can toward the next war. Why attack Iran? Well, for one thing, it will take the minds of memory-challenged Americans off the past sins of their leaders.