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    6th Anniversary of Iraq Invasion


    by Leon on 20th March, 2009 at 4:33 pm    

    You wouldn’t know it from the non coverage but today is the 6th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

    I’m not going to write a lengthy tirade, re-regurgitating past opinions about the rights or wrongs about the invasion, the lies we were told to sell us on the venture or the horrendous number of people killed as a result.

    Nor am I going to lay in to the former lefties who backed this war. I figure a thread for reflection and remembrance and perhaps a little hope of what may be possible for the future might suffice.

    Where were you on the night the bombing started? What were your thoughts? Do you see a better future for the country and it’s people?



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    12 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Golam Murtaza — on 20th March, 2009 at 6:44 pm  

      The most optimistic prediction I can realistically make is that things will improve very, very slowly for the people of Iraq over the next 10 years. Though that’ll be more a result of war weariness than any dramatic military or political initiative.

      There will be major setbacks along the way of course. I can see the conflict between Arabs and Kurds over Kirkuk turning really nasty at some stage during this period. And Turkey will probably come crashing into northern Iraq again in pursuit of the PKK.

    2. dave bones — on 20th March, 2009 at 7:02 pm  

      Staring at a TV stoned in a squat in Highgate the night the bombing started. The next day I was watching children trying to stop London in Parliament Square. They were amazing.

      Totally let down and lied to by all the adults of the Stop the War coalition, kids with no experience whatsoever of direct action doing it for themselves. Check the kid at the end of the video. He knows exactly what he is doing and why he is doing it.

      Not sure if it did any good, but I heard it was the same all over the country, even in the Dorset village I grew up in Kids took the street.

      Like you I am not sure what I think about the rights and wrongs of the invasion now, I make no predictions. I’m not in Iraq, but this day for me will always be a day I take my hat off to kids for trying to stop shock and awe.

    3. Adnan Y. — on 20th March, 2009 at 7:29 pm  

      I was in New York. After protests against the damn thing, I was watching the invasion on television, horrified.

      My mother would tell me about Indian-Pakistan wars, and how she remembered her siblings and her having to hide to avoid the strafing gunfire of fighter jets, and bombs being dropped in what was a garden, just outside Lahore. My father spent part of his childhood in Baghdad, when his father was stationed there.

      Those things came to mind when I watched it on television, and kept thinking of terrified children in a country that was being bombed to pieces by a nation that had more fire-power than most first-world nations. I had to turn it off after a while, especially after the fawning behaviour of the journalists covering it.

      Will there be a better future for the country and its people? Oh there will be, one day. But not for a long, long time.

    4. Sunny — on 20th March, 2009 at 8:57 pm  

      Damn I can’t actually remember where I was the night the bombings started. I do however remember ’shock and awe’ and the evil grin on Rumsfeld’s face. It only confirmed my view this was going to be a massive fuck-up.

    5. Clairwil — on 21st March, 2009 at 12:40 am  

      I’ve no idea where I was or what I was doing when the bombing started. I knew it was inevitable so didn’t regard it as much of an ‘event’ though the poor bastards on the receiving end will no doubt view it differently.

      When the war started I sincerely hoped I’d be proved wrong and peace, democracy, freedom and joy would reign throughout Iraq. I still hope in the long term that, that will be the case but I have my doubts. Three years for the fellow who lobbed his shoes at Bush hardly bodes well.

    6. medic — on 21st March, 2009 at 7:08 am  

      This is mad http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/20/met-police-officers-accused-assaults

    7. billericaydicky — on 21st March, 2009 at 12:01 pm  

      I can’t remember what I was doing but I certainly thought that things would be better for the Iraqi people. We know that life under Saddam was awful and there are no end of descriptions of the terror from Iraqis themselves and I am sure that there is not a person in the world who did not wish for a better life for all Iraqis.

      So what went wrong? Apart from the Baathists who had lost their jobs most of the population was anti Saddam. That didn’t mean they were pro west and it was naive to think that a parliamentary style democracy could be imposed in a part of the world which has no tradition of it.

      Then there was the problem that, like countries around it, Iraq was a creation of the victorious Allies after the First World War and the Treaty of Trianon which carved up this part of the old Ottoman Empire.

      Religious and tribal groups began to assert themselves after years of suppression by Saddam and of course the various factions were supplied with arms and money by Syria and Iran which had their own agendas.

      Ther has been an improvement which it is to be hoped continues. The biggest losers out of all this have been the anti war left who have aligned themselves with some of the most reactionary Islamic groups both here and abroad on the basis that our enemy’s enemy is our friend.

      Can anyone really imagine what would happen if the troops were pulled out tomorrow? We have to deal with situations they way they are not the way we want them to be. To be against the start of the war is one to support withdrawal now is another.

    8. MaidMarian — on 21st March, 2009 at 7:45 pm  

      Leon - I don’t honestly remember where I was, but then (as now) I was ambivalent about conflict in Iraq. I know that that is a stance that will go down like a french kiss at a wedding here on PP, but there you go.

      I never believed the 45 minute claim (no government ever is that efficient), but I don’t think we were lied to - at least not in any meaningful sense of the word. I believed, think correctly, that the conflict would lead to a manifestly short-sighted politics of protest that believed in its own hype rather than anything else.

      More generally, I think that BD (7) gets it about right. At the time I thought that the Iraq conflict was a staging post on a route we were on well before 2004 or indeed 2004. The route to having a world divided on a cleavage aggravated by radical religion. I don’t think I was altogether wrong. I was ambivalent Leon because Iraq was following the course of history.

      I’d like to think that 2004 will be seen as the high-watermark of religious strife on a global scale. Come back in a decade and I’ll let you know.

    9. BenSix — on 22nd March, 2009 at 2:13 am  

      I remember that my friend was sick and off school. When I called him later to ask how his day had been, he said something along the lines of “Okay…we went to war.”

      Oddly enough, I have a much clearer memory of 1998/9, when I was in primary school and had a, how shall I put it, insubstantial view of world affairs. Someone told me that we might be going to war with a country called Iraq, and I remember thinking, as an absurdly insular WW2 buff, “wow…that’s…strangely real”. That was a feeling that should have been maintained.

      Ben

    10. Raven — on 22nd March, 2009 at 11:35 pm  

      I really feel for all the people, families and especially the children who have suffered as a result of the attack on Iraq. I really hope that they can rebuild but, inevitably, a generation has already been scarred.

      When the invasion began, I was in a meeting in a university chaired by the political historian, the late Ben Pimlott - he opened it with the words “it’s started”.

    11. marvin — on 23rd March, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

      I don’t remember, man. Watching the TV, the bright green lights in the sky were cool though, a bit like gigantic fireworks. Couldn’t wait for the allied forces to get that sadistic bastard murderer Saddam and his cronies.

      Sadly massive fuck-ups ever since. They should have tripled the number of troops and brought security to the Iraqi people immediately. Trained the fledgling forces and been out in a couple of years. Instead the half-hearted attempts wreaked havoc as the power vacuum was filled by the nastiest of the nasty. Hundreds of thousands of civlians were killed by these despicable psychopathic gangs intent on imposing their own version of how the society should be controlled.

    12. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 23rd March, 2009 at 3:02 pm  

      I cried and listened to the song “B.O.B” by outcast all day. Like ben six, I have been a life long WWII buff and this war somehow made things so much more “real” for me. The romanticist images of heroism and glory were replaced with a realization of war as what it is .. destruction and death, as days before I watched the children in Iraq say goodbye to their families and begin boarding planes to safety. I wonder what happened to them.
      I saw it first as a direct offense against our own constitution to invade a country with this as our motivation, that possible civil war would grow and was angry that of all countries to “liberate” why Iraq? (Did you know people in Hatti eat dirt?)
      after the fact I also knew it was gonna take something we would not be allowed to use… force and occupation…. and that the anti war movement left over from the vietnam era would do everything in it’s power to crush support which is also a huge necessity for success.



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