But the Iraq [US] troops have left behind is far weaker, less secure, and infinitely far more unstable than when they invaded it. The war unleashed and empowered the forces of religious fundamentalism in Iraq. Washington is patting itself on its back for leaving behind a democratic Iraq. But whether Iraq today is any more democratic than under Saddam Hussein is questionable.
...The US-led invasion of Iraq was shrouded in lies. Leaders in the US and Britain claimed they had irrefutable evidence that it possessed weapons of mass destruction. This duplicity continued right through the occupation. And now at the war’s end, Washington claims the war is a success, resulting in ‘an extraordinary achievement’ that Americans can look on ‘with their heads held high’. Can the US look the Iraqi people in the eye while telling them what exactly it means by ‘success’?
Has Washington forgotten that as early as 2005, a former head of the US National Security Agency had declared the invasion of Iraq as ‘the greatest strategic disaster in United States history’?
Many Americans and Britons will want to forget their ignoble adventure in Iraq. They must not. All wars are wrong but their war in Iraq was particularly so. The US and its allies invaded and occupied Iraq when it posed no threat to them or any other country. Forgetting the past, glossing over blunders and refusing to learn lessons will condemn the US to repeat its mistakes.
That repetition appears to have been set in motion with American officials already issuing threats to Syria and Iran. Historians and spin masters will make every effort to twist facts and embellish the US’ Iraqi misadventure and to wipe clean its lamentable legacy in Iraq. They would do well to record the invasion of Iraq in 2003 as marking the starting point of the US’ decline as a superpower.