It might be over for us, officially, maybe, but apparently things look much different from the perspective of Iraqi citizens who are left to deal with the U.S. withdrawal and its aftermath. The new dawn of democracy touted by W. didn’t materialize, which shouldn’t come as any surprise. How could he even utter such a thing? Instead there is instability and confusion and, one might think, an identity crisis. A leadership crisis.
Who is Iraq now? Who were they under Hussein? Nation building would seem to be an ill-advised responsibility for anyone to take on. Who did we think we were? Who do we think we are? What makes leaders think that foreign countries with very different histories and religions and customs would suddenly see the light and bend toward democracy in the first place? Is this what happened in Japan after WWII, and what was the plan there?
We invaded Iraq and were fed a line that might have made it seem like it was going to be… easy? Shock and awe and all that, brought into our homes, broadcast live for all to see– the amazing, overwhelming military might. It was almost easy to think that this was going to be another Desert Storm. A little strategery and things would settle down by Tuesday.
The only exit strategy and long-range plan was a short-range plan to obliterate and overwhelm and avenge our grief and anger over 9/11. We reacted, lashed out, with little thought given to the long term.