Nothing Can Morally Justify the Invasion of Iraq
By JACOB G. HORNBERGER
Neo-con supporters of the U.S. government's war of aggression against Iraq are undoubtedly holding their collective breath in the hope that U.S. military forces have finally smashed any further violent opposition to their conquest of Iraq. The attitude would then be, "You see, this shows that we were right after all to invade and occupy Iraq and kill and maim hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people."
Meanwhile, the Associated Press is reporting that U.S. soldiers have found mass graves next to a torture center north of Baghdad. In the torture center, chains were attached to blood-spattered walls while a metal bed was attached to an electrical shock system.
Hey, who knows? Maybe the torture center prevented a ticking time bomb from going off? And who's to say that chains, blood-spattered walls, metal beds, and an electrical shock system really constitute torture? Doesn't torture depend on each person's subjective determination of the term?
By the way, wasn't there torture in Iraq under Saddam Hussein? I wonder if his justifications for torture were different from those employed by those torturing in Iraq today. I wonder if they were different than those employed by current U.S. torturers.
As Rosa Brooks writes in the Los Angeles Times today, Baghdad has now been divided into "cleansed" neighborhoods, in which Sunnis occupy some areas and Shiites occupy others. The U.S. military is helping to keep the neighborhoods free of violence by constructing walls that separate the respective neighborhoods. What an interesting way for the Pentagon to rebuild a peaceful society that it has destroyed with its invasion.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have fled the country, mostly to neighboring countries given that the U.S. government refuses to let them emigrate to the United States, despite one of the U.S. government's claims (in addition to the WMD one) that it invaded Iraq out of love for the Iraqi people. Hey, what better way to reduce the death toll than by reducing the country's population?
And if things weren't crazy enough, we now learn that the U.S. government is helping Turkey to attack Iraqi Kurds in the northern part of the country. Can't you just hear U.S. officials exclaim when some Iraqi survivor of those attacks retaliates with a terrorist attack against the U.S.: "We're innocent! We're innocent! We haven't done anything to provoke this! They hate us for our freedom and values! God bless America!"
No rational person can deny that Iraq never had any connection whatsoever to the 9/11 attacks, especially given that none of the 9/11 attackers were even from Iraq. Yet, countless Iraqi people are now dead or maimed and their entire country is destroyed. One might easily say that Iraq is the federal massacre of Waco magnified a million-fold. The whole situation in Iraq brings to mind the famous dictum of Tacitus: "They made a desert and called it peace."
Nothing, not even "peace" in Iraq, will ever be able to morally justify a war of aggression against a nation whose people were totally innocent of the 9/11 attacks. Nothing, not even some warped definition of "terrorist," will ever be able to morally justify killing Iraqis who were doing nothing more than trying to oust their country of an illegal invader who had invaded with a thirst for vengeance and regime change relying on fake and false rationales for its invasion. Nothing will ever be able to morally justify the killing of even one single Iraqi, much less hundreds of thousands of them, given that neither the Iraqi people nor their government ever attacked the United States.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.