George Bush and Dick Cheney invaded Iraq based on lies and deceptions. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives. Tonight, President Obama delivered a strong speech to mark the end of combat operations. One glaring omission: not a single mention of Iraqi civilian casualties. Only a line about sacrifices made by Iraqi fighters who fought alongside coalition troops.
Earlier I wrote the following:
When President Obama speaks to the nation about the end of combat operations in Iraq, he will avoid the elephant in the room: that America was deceived into war.
Whatever the ultimate outcome, and we won’t know it for years, an undeniable legacy of the Iraq war is that Bush and Cheney squandered America’s moral authority with the invasion and we’re still paying the price in blood and treasure.
We all know why Obama can’t talk about Iraq as a failure. It’s because we can’t tell the families of the dead that their loved ones died in vain.
But we don’t have to. They didn’t die in vain. Not if we’re honest with ourselves. It’s when we avoid the bitter and hard truths that we undermine their noble sacrifice.
Let’s pay tribute to the beautiful souls lost in Iraq by being brutally honest and by demanding the truth. Let’s learn from our terrible mistake. We owe it to the memory of those who gave their lives.
Obama has kept a campaign promise and has handled Iraq exceptionally well, but at the very least, one paragraph in his speech should have been devoted to the countless lives we destroyed, the families shattered, the babies and mothers slaughtered. It’s the least we can do.