I'd like to think a handful of elected officials and the Merchants of Evil who made up their cadre of co-conspirators drug America into an illegal ill-fated invasion and occupation of Iraq ten years ago. I'd like to think Americans opposed the rationale for the war at the time, rose up in mass protests from coast to coast, and that the people who sold us the war based upon manipulated intelligence have been tried for their crimes against humanity at the Hague.
I'd like to think we're that kind of country.
But the truth is a lot harder to face, which is why reality gets so little actual examination in America today.
People who were appointed to office by people who were appointed to the Supreme Court managed to sell the nation, the Congress, and the free world, on a pack of lies designed to facilitate their agenda in the middle east. People were captured, detained, flown to dark-op sites, and tortured in our name. Billions of dollars were made by the dogs of war who stood to gain by those efforts, and trillions in national treasure were thrown into a money pit that has no end in sight.
Four thousand American service members lost their lives. An unknown number of American service members have lost limbs, sight, hearing, and will be forever scarred, physically and mentally, for having been pawns in the game. Thousands of American "contractors" and "advisers" have been killed and injured, all "off the books" as part of our shadow army of hired mercenaries.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children, have been killed, and millions displaced. Regional stability has been changed in ways no thoughtful person could have wanted, with enemies of western civilization emboldened in the process. The balance of power has shifted to Iran, and now we have neocons beating war drums for yet another invasion, with all of the same threats and subterfuge at work to swing public opinion for war.
And today, the members of Congress who voted to give the Bush/Cheney administration the power to make all of that happen point fingers at the lies they were told, without the sense of shame that the truth should inspire: WE LET THEM START A WAR BECAUSE WE DIDN'T WANT TO LOOK UNPATRIOTIC.
So we put the yellow magnetic ribbon decals on our cars, trucks, and SUVs, turned the television channels away from those depressing images from Iraq, and called in to vote for our favorite American Idols. We cheered our favorite teams, went to see the summer blockbusters, grilled out with our friends, and made sure to keep a nice, healthy cushion of "stuff" between us and what was being done in our names overseas.
They're ginning up for another war, folks. The wheels are already spinning, and we're on the cusp of another propaganda campaign for the hearts and minds of America.
And we still haven't punished the people who took us into the last one.
God Bless America.