Matt Taibbi on the Iraq War fifteen years on:
But that’s not how our rulers sold the war to themselves. They weren’t overcome with emotion, or some post-9/11 yearning for vengeance. They knew what they were doing.
The Iraq invasion, one of the great crimes of this or any age and destined to be a crossroads event in the history of America’s decline, was instead a cold, calculated, opportunistic power grab, aimed as much at future targets, and even our own population, as at the Iraqi “enemy.”
As citizens, we haven’t started to reckon with any of this. We write it off rather than deal with it. In fact, when we think of Iraq at all, we often describe the invasion as a mistake. Embarrassingly, even I did this a few weeks back, talking about how we “blundered” into Iraq.
It’s understandable. There are superficial plot elements from the Iraq narrative we lean on to soothe ourselves that the invasion was caused by an unlikely confluence of accidents and errors, not the inherent venality of our system.
The mainstream’s embrace of Bush’s absurd and criminal invasion of Iraq bears for me a striking resemblance to its embrace of “diversity” or the problem of “racism” or any other element of the poz. It’s as if there’s a silent agreement that no one will challenge the operating assumptions because the end goal has been successfully framed as a moral imperative.
Taibbi goes through the well-known litany of US invasions and abuses of weaker countries (which from this vantage looks like one long squandering of the remarkable power and wealth the US held relative to the rest of the world at the end of WWII). For him all roads lead to a right-wing impulse behind this. For me, now, they all lead to the Land of Poz, where militarism is now quartered, and I see the affinity between them in the similarity of their methods:
The consistent thread throughout all of these foreign policy losses was our relentless, stubborn belief that would have succeeded, if only we’d been allowed to use more force and violence.
Likewise, diversity and equality are only failing because we haven’t tried hard enough. The Iraq War could only go on as long as people were willing to endure the cost and carnage. The Diversity War conceals its damage–indeed, recasts its negative effects, such as racial hatred, as proof of its necessity (like WMD)–and will go on.
For the time.