I experience stabbing pains of guilt when I read about the Iraq Inquiry in Britain. That horrible story no longer moves me to anger; I just shake my head and keep walking.
I am sincerely grateful, therefore, to Daniel Larison in The American Conservative for still being very angry. I am glad he won’t let it rest.
Of course the new administration will try to make the best of it, claim progress and take credit for anything it can. That is in the political self-interest of this administration. Having inherited a mess that the political class has convinced itself was improving, it would not be advantageous to be the one overseeing the unraveling. The rest of us are not burdened by such considerations.
I don’t think it is particular noble to destroy another people’s country on the basis of unfounded, paranoid fears that its small, economically weak, militarily inferior government posed grave threats to the global superpower. There are many words that come to mind to describe this, but noble is not one of them. It is not especially noble to do this with no meaningful plan for restoring order and governance in the wake of the invasion. There is no nobility to be found in the afterthought of poorly constructing a democratic regime whose elections served as the trigger for massive bloodshed. Likewise, there was not much nobility when our government belatedly recognized its incompetence and failure long after it could do the civilian casualties any good and proposed a plan that would temporarily reduce violence long enough for the previous administration to get out the door.
My anger is still there but is deep below the surface but I am glad that Larison is still able to rouse it back up and remind me. I don’t want to forget.