The Big Lie began ten years ago this week.
There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The Bush administration knew it was a lie. They were just looking for a justification.
There were no ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. The Bush administration knew it was a lie. They were just looking for a justification.
Yes, there were chemical weapons. But that, too, was just an excuse. Our government looked the other way when Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds when Iraq was our ally.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq costs tens of thousands of Iraqis their lives and their homes. Missiles and rockets were fired indiscriminately into residential neighborhoods. No one has ever been charged for those war crimes.
The lies led to the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan where tens of thousands more have died needlessly in a war built upon deception. The US mission has ended in a stalemate. President Obama has announced that the troops will be coming home next year. He's hailing it as a successful conclusion to the war. Just like Richard Nixon ordered the evacuation of US troops from Vietnam and called it a victory, too.
Every one of those deaths was unnecessary. There was never any reason for our government to send our young people to die on foreign soil so that American-based transnational corporations could move into the region and rape and pillage in the name of profit.
I was down in Seabrook the other day to run a marathon. Before the race began someone called Brother Something-or-Other took the microphone and asked for a moment of silence for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This supposed man of the cloth couldn't have cared less about the slaughter of the innocents that has taken place over the last decade. He only cared about those wearing a uniform with our flag on it.
I was as sickened by his actions as much as I am by all the "Support the Troops" festivities at football and baseball games. I was as sickened as much as I am when college basketball teams accept offers to wear camouflage uniforms and play on aircraft carriers to ramp up support for a war built upon lies.
As much as I would love to put the onus for the needless death and destruction on George W. Bush, I can't. He may have been the one to put things in motion but President Obama has continued the war unabated. Thus the longest war in American history continues with the guarantee that the world won't be any better for it.
And that's no lie.