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March 19, 2004

One Year Later

One year ago today we mourned a war that still had not "officially" begun. At that time, the U.S. and much of the rest of the world were deeply divided over whether a war on Iraq was necessary or wise. One year later, there's not much more consensus about that, but there have been lots of consequences — none of them very great. On the global balance sheet, the war has given us a massive loss of lives (American, Iraqi, and others), ongoing violence in Iraq, an influx of foreign terrorists into Iraq, a bitterly divided world, the U.N. marginalized, and perhaps worst of all, a precedent that massive military action is an appropriate response to vague and unsubstantiated "threats." All of those things affect U.S. citizens, as does the huge budget deficit we're now facing, which is being used as a pretext for cutting social services both at the federal and state/local levels.

So did the war produce anything positive? Are the Iraqi people better off living in a war zone where every day they could be killed by random violence? Is the world now a safer place? The Bush administration would like us to think so (Powell chimes in, as does Cheney) I just don't see it. And tell me again, why should we listen to one more thing these people say?

Is it cynical of me to think this big showdown with Al Queda leaders has been staged and orchestrated to reach some kind of spectacular climax around, oh, today, one year after Bush launched his pet war on Iraq? You bet it is.

What a sad, sad year.

Posted March 19, 2004 06:10 AM | general politics

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