Iraq today is a broken and failing state: the war that many would prefer to believe ended in 2011 continues unabated, with Iraqis continuing to suffer, as much as ever, the fallout from this country’s callous lies and avoidable mistakes.
Despite Colin Powell’s sanctimonious “Pottery Barn rule,” John Feffer wrote on his Foreign Policy in Focus blog at The last month, the United States has made no effort to “own up to our responsibility for breaking the country.” The Bush Administration has launched a war against Iraq, a war that is unnecessary, unwise and illegal.
Others of us—the Democratic Party, Congress, the judiciary, the news media—abdicated our obligation to challenge, to check and to oppose, letting the power-hungry have their way.
The government of the United States went into opposition against its own founding principles, leaving it to the rest of the world to take up our cause.
Its popular support stems from fear engendered by the attacks of September 11—fear that has been manipulated to extend far beyond its proper objects.
Jonathan Schell, in an article in the same issue titled “American Tragedy,” described the wider implication of the Bush administration’s action: an existential threat to the separation of powers, the protection of civil liberties, the commitment to the international and domestic rule of law.This transformation, in turn, threatens to push the world into a new era of rivalry, confrontation and war.The location of the new power is of course the presidency (whose Augustan proportions make the “imperial” presidency of the cold war look like a mere practice run).The decision to go to war to overthrow the government of Iraq will bring unreckonable death and suffering to that country, the surrounding region and, possibly, the United States.It also marks a culmination in the rise within the United States of an immense concentration of unaccountable power that poses the greatest threat to the American constitutional system since the Watergate crisis.
This Monday marks the eleventh anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq—a solemn punctuation mark to the steadily increasing violence that has gripped that country over the past two years.