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The U.S. has a number of important civic holidays: Veterans Day (equivalent to the British Armistice Day), Memorial Day, Labor Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and of course, Independence Day. In the past twelve years, a new de facto patriotic holiday has also emerged -- September 11 Day.

Some of these holidays tend to emphasize straightforward patriotism, while holidays like Labor Day and MLK Day tend to provoke internal reflection regarding the injustices in American history.

I think we need a new holiday (or perhaps an anti-holiday) in the spirit of MLK Day and Labor Day: a day to memorialize the tremendous folly, waste, and injustice of the second Iraq War, which began on March 19 2003 -- ten years ago to the day. For readers who have forgotten about this long burning corner of horror, Juan Cole has a helpful set of reminders, with a post called "What We Lost: the 10 Ways the Iraq War Harmed the U.S." I highly recommend it.

I would call my proposed day of remembrance (it is not quite right to call it a holiday) Consequences Day. Here is what I have in mind for Consequences Day:

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Via Ruchira Paul and 3QD, an article in the Boston Globe about the work of Robert Putnam, a Harvard University political scientist. The Globe summarizes the gist of the article as follows:

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Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 10:54 AM PST

We Need a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

by amardeep

This is an admittedly somewhat silly idea born of frustration with Republican attack ads in the 2004 election. I'm posting this partly for comic relief, and partly because I think the scenario I'm describing actually isn't so far fetched. (Not that anyone should take me seriously!)

The gist is: The Democrats should invent a dummy independent candidate to bear the brunt of the attack ad machinery. Ultimately, the dummy candidate disappears, and a legitimate Democratic candidate easily beats the Republican nominee in 2008. MORE AFTER THE FOLD.

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