Has The US Learned Its Lesson?

“The 20th anniversary of the U.S invasion of Iraq”

Photo by Nabil Salih

On the morning of March 20, 2003, warning sirens were activated in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, announcing the third Arab-gulf war led by George W. Bush, which was based on a hoax of Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) to legalize the American terrorizing invasion to gain economic advantages by taking over Iraq’s rich oil fields and to control its unique demographic in the region. Iraq, and MENA, are still suffering the aftermath of the US invasion and similar unprovoked interventions. 20 years later, has the US learned its lesson?


Because the United States remains militarily involved on a global scale in the war on terrorism, it is difficult to determine whether the US foreign policy establishment has truly learned this lesson. When it comes to American foreign policy toward Ukraine, some of the same decision-makers who advocate prudence are among the most militant when it comes to US foreign policy toward Palestine, for example. Professor Thor Hogan comments, “We won’t really know whether America has learned the lessons of this conflict until we are faced with another similar situation. But it is safe to say that our leaders have been far more cautious in the past 20 years about committing troops to new conflicts. While this is certainly a good thing in many respects, there is also a danger that without a global policeman willing to provide international stability, the world will become a more dangerous place. We are already seeing that emerge in Ukraine.”


 For future reference, policies should approach these circumstances with a clear understanding of the US boundaries on any global events. But, its strategies must take into account the fact that current instability risks will linger with longer-term consequences. The US must realize that it cannot force its vision of enlightenment on the Middle East to spread Western democracy and capitalism without expecting rejection of such ideologies and collective resistance. 


Although many US politicians, policymakers, and people have deemed the Iraq invasion an abject failure—as if a crime is ever successful—the US Empire continues its crimes against Iraq and the region. Iraq is still suffering the ongoing effects of American settler-colonialism. Just last December, the US navy named one of its warships the USS Fallujah with no regard to the 1.2 million displaced people in Iraq who live in refugee camps and an estimated 1 million dead Iraqis, directly or indirectly, as a result of the invasion and its aftermath due to the toxic legacy left behind by occupying forces causing birth defects until today, especially in Fallujah, where there are also elevated rates of cancer. Except for the American arms industry and other corporate interests, the outcome of the Iraq War is unknown. The invading and occupying force would never have been successful even if it had been less completely inept.



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