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“I don't want to just end the war, I want to end the mindset that got us into war in the first place.”

-Barack Obama, January 2008

The ten year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq has brought much attention, and rightfully so, to the lies that seduced us into that eight year catastrophe. Little attention has been given to the ethnocentric, cowardly, and frankly deplorable national psyche that made the deception even possible.

Had we not been lied to, had they been right, had Saddam Hussein weapons of mass destruction, had he ties to Al Qaeda, had he been on the verge of a nuclear weapon, had Mohamed Atta met with an Iraqi official in Prague, had yellowcake been served up in Niger, had all of Colin Powell's UN testimony been irrefutable; had every last bit of it been true, we still had no right, no goddam right at all! No right to kill, maim, dismember, disfigure, burn and otherwise destroy the lives of a million Iraqi civilians and displace millions more for the purpose of our own safety. The preventative war, as presented, was an act of extraordinary cowardice. We should all be very ashamed that we, as a people, deemed it appropriate for so many "over there" to suffer so tremendously for our security, even if we had actually been exposed to some real risk.

The mindset that life is cheap over there, that American lives are the only ones that matter, that it is right that we fight them over there rather than on our own turf, is a mindset I find reprehensible and a source of great embarrassment. Yes, ten years later I am ashamed of the political administration that insisted on that unnecessary and disastrous war. I am also ashamed of the mindset of the American people that made the whole con job possible in the first place.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "It is easier to fool people, than to convince them they've been fooled" - Mark Twain

    by Sarge in Seattle on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 03:07:00 AM PDT

  •  Sarge.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sarge in Seattle

    If you are an American citizen self checking, then you have a lot to be proud of. Not too many people in the world are able to do that.

    Exploring of the "mindset," however, is a good place to start.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 03:35:57 AM PDT

  •  We need way more than a few good words. (4+ / 0-)

    We need to change American foreign policy and our war-based way of life. We need to shut down and re-purpose the Military Industrial Complex. We need to stop the carnage. Pretty speeches change nothing.

    Thanks for the diary Sarge.

  •  The "mindset" is that this country (3+ / 0-)

    is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the MIC.

    Who spends huge resources making sure the average American believes all that shit . .. .

    Just saying, you seem to have a good point but your ire is maybe a tad off-target IMHO

    •  The claim that we can all be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan

      brainwashed by corporations was more compelling in the 1950s than it is today. The internet has meant that information is not centrally controled (outside of places like China or North Korea). I know that many here believe that the only reason people in the South vote GOP is because they've been tricked by someone (often the name Koch comes up). It's hard for some to admit that we are a divided country, legitimately. The main brainwashing that goes on in this country is the selling of Jesus and the Bible to children. That has more influence on their lifelong voting patterns than anything one by nefarious corporations or the MIC.

  •  How to get majorities in the U.S. (and Britain) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, truong son traveler

    … out of that mindset whereby everyone nods as the "mainstream" media and political leaders report everything as the exact opposite of what it is?

    In the U.K. too, Tony Blair led the country, the Labor Party, and the Left media such as the Guardian down the rabbit hole into a wonderland of lies.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:00:30 AM PDT

  •  Simple answer Sarge (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Deward Hastings

    IMHO "no"

    The powers that be will just look for better ways to keep on doing what they do, keep chipping away at the Bill of Rights in an attempts to threaten and stifle those who object.

    As long as the definition of our national interests includes unfettered access to things that are in the domain of foreign countries, their products, resources, markets and labor, as long as huge sums of money from special interests flow to our elected representatives and we continue with the goals of full spectrum military dominance and global hegemony I would not expect to see any real change.

    Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

    by truong son traveler on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:04:43 AM PDT

  •  mindset and attack on civil liberties alive here (3+ / 0-)

    Iran has not attacked anyone for 100 years yet we are possibly, again, on the verge of war

    recent estimate of $6 trillion has not been enough to get attention of politicians

    and the repression is taking place at home

    Obama attacks on press worse than Nixon

    Pentagon Papers lawyer on Obama, secrecy and press freedoms: 'worse than Nixon'

    criminalizing speech

    our empire is going down the drain and how can we rationally spend $1.4 trillion over the life of the F-35 airplane??

    we have not learned

  •  We have lots of room to grow (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, truong son traveler

    Compassion, regret, apology, reparations, and reformation to never do this again. How far have we gone down this path? Will we ever go down this path? How'd we do post Vietnam?

    We kill, we walk and we don't look back.

    This is classic imperialist behavior, extreme violence for the purpose of domination and plunder. The people responsible are the Imperial Politicians and we don't prosecute them because we as a nation know that we will want to do this again. We accept this morality as a nation. Bush could sell this war to an America that was willing and we are still willing, although a bit more hesitant.  We have to change ourselves. The voices preaching for a higher morality are very very few and have little impact. One presidential candidate sang "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" and came close to getting half the votes cast. The election should have been over that moment. We have a lot of work to do.

    If you are a resident of another country reading this don't gloat. We have no real friends in the world. Friends would have told us in no uncertain terms that invading Iraq was immoral and illegal and the the US would suffer consequences. Our "friends" in the world are kiss-ass opportunists, bowing to the imperial presidency and the US dollar. You are enablers.

    •  remember when we forgot the word Oligarchy? (0+ / 0-)

      now it is back

      we are going the way of other failing empires

      and it seems like we are accelerating the down fall these days with more bad stuff exposed all the time

      and the 1% are no longer hiding their plunder

      how bad would we be if we were not a "christian country"?

  •  No. Oil is still the bestest reason ever to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    kill innocent people and apologize for it.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:35:46 AM PDT

  •  the idea (2+ / 0-)

    of American Exceptionalism,
    is the most insidious one we face.

    It implies America is always right -- we are not.

    It implies America is morally better than other countries -- we are not.

    It implies America has a two-tiered justice system, one for the Exceptions, and one for everyone else, and that THAT it is OK -- it are not.

    Exceptionalism, American or otherwise, is a sloganeering way to promote classism on a grand scale.

    It teaches the cheering crowds that we are special, that somehow we above the normal "rules of justice"
    -- but in the long run, we are not -- not above moral justice.

    Karma is a bitch, when it finally catches up with the Exceptions.  In their cases, it can't come soon enough.

  •  Technology has reduced the need to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan

    mount full-scale invasions; the use of drones also means far fewer innocents killed in the target country. So while we may be just as prone to shoot, our shooting is much safer for everyone all around. That is a good thing, even for diehard pacifists.

  •  governments come and governments go, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "national interests" always remain the same.

    Nothing has changed.

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