Back in the day, the early 1980s, I was teaching a class on US foreign policy and the first day I handed out a map of Asia and asked the class to circle Vietnam on the map…..only one junior in class got the question right and he was one of the last units to leave the country….
I thought then that it was sad that so many students did no idea about the war that was over less than 10 years before.
That memory came back after I read an article in ‘The Conversation” about the last Iraq War.
The United States invaded Iraq 20 years ago in March 2003, claiming it had to disarm the Iraqi government of weapons of mass destruction and end the dictatorial rule of President Saddam Hussein.
U.S. soldiers captured Saddam in December 2003. And a 15-month search revealed that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction to seize.
But the conflict between Western powers and Iraq dragged on until 2011. More than 4,600 American soldiers died in combat – and thousands more died by suicide after they returned home.
More than 288,000 Iraqis, including fighters and civilians, have died from war-related violence since the invasion.
The war cost the U.S. over $2 trillion.
And Iraq is still dealing with widespread political violence between rival religious-political groups and an unstable government.
Most of these problems stem directly or indirectly from the war. The 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and the war that followed are defining events in the histories of both countries – and the region. Yet, for many young people in the United States, drawing a connection between the war and its present-day impact is becoming more difficult. For them, the war is an artifact of the past.
I am a Middle East historian and an Islamic studies scholar who teaches two undergraduate courses that cover the 2003 invasion and the Iraq War. My courses attract students who hope to work in politics, law, government and nonprofit groups, and whose personal backgrounds include a range of religious traditions, immigration histories and racial identities.
How sad is that?
Americans fought and died and no one gives a crap.
Just as Vietnam has become a forgotten war so shall Iraq…..and this scenario will happen all over again because no one wants to remember the sacrifice of their countrymen.
A bunch of candy ass morons!
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”
4 thoughts on “How Soon We Forget”
I have often heard fat assed speakers dressed in some kind of uniform that barley fits them standing on patriotically-decorated podiums during Memorial Day talking about how “We shall never forget their sacrifices” when everyone knows damned well that the only time “Their sacrifices” are remembered is when someone is using “Their Sacrifice” to run for some office or to beg for money for some cause or the other. It is disgusting.
Exactly….war means nothing to those that have sat on the sidelines. chuq
We had features on the news here about the 20th anniversary of that war. But they were overshadowed by reports from Ukraine of course. Let’s hope they learned some lessons about ‘boots on the ground’ in Iraq. But I doubt that.
Best wishes, Pete.
Pete they have learned nothing…..this will be just a pause before we start the cycle all over. chuq