I will never forget March 19, 2003. I am sure that many people feel the same way. But, there I was, a new father with a 2 week old baby, watching my nation invade another on what seemed clear to me to be shaky grounds.
Was this the world my son was to be born into?
It was the first time we all got to witness the results of a questionable election outcome in 2000. It was the moment where the intentions of the W administration (with WAY too many leftover Cold War nuts in it) were made clear. They wanted war in order to gain profit. And profit they did. Well, people who they gave no-bid contracts to, and the people who gained from the rise in oil prices and the destabilization of the Middle East.
People who questioned it were called liars and traitors, and told to shut up and sit down. Well, now, a decade later, we see who was right and who was wrong. And we have not yet begun to recover from the reckless war that was waged in our name.
Iraq is still a mess, with daily bombings and killings (that don't make the news now, since America has stopped military action there) and with deplorable conditions of living for the people there, who surely have stopped (if they ever did) seeing us as liberators.
Treason was committed. At higher levels. White House insiders leaked the identity of a CIA operative because of a truthful article her husband wrote. Wiretapping of any and all American citizens was on the table and under way (even before the war). And the ultimate villain we wanted to get some revenge on, Bin Laden, got his wildest and wettest dreams come true: America, out of anger and fear and lust for revenge, changed the way it lived and did business. Liberties were at risk (where were the anti-droners then?), lies were told, war crimes were committed, and when any of it was questioned, the questioners were shouted down. Freedom of speech was quickly becoming a grand old theory in this country. Just ask the Dixie Chicks.
The list of things that right wingers accepted blindly back then is too long to list. And sadly, they outrage against a corrupt Government only started in 2009 - when a black man was elected on an anti-war stance. Then and only then, did some of these folks have a problem with the way our nation conducted business.
In the early part of the Iraq War, I watched and took in as much information as I could. I often saw the holes in the reporting of the "news" on the ground and back home. I saw the reporters seemingly intnetionally refusing to follow up questions with logical next questions, or even call out mis-information when it was given. And in that time lies became accepted as just another point of view.
I eventually wrote a script based on the first year of the Iraq War, exposing through ficitonal characters all of the things I had taken note of that no one else was willing to point out.
Fastforward 10 years, and here we are - looking at people who were there in the White House, now coming out and renouncing the whole thing or pointing out the lies and deceptions.
We are 4500 dead troops, 130,000 dead civillians, 35,000 wounded soldiers, and nearly $3 trillion dollars later. Have we learned anything? Have we even tried? I suppose only time will tell.