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The Iraq War and “Getting Angry”

John Lee Anderson considers “what the Iraq war wrought,” and concludes with these lines:

As for those American soldiers asking, “Was our sacrifice in Fallujah worth it?,” one is at a loss about how to reply to the thought that comes to mind this week: No, it really wasn’t. It is time to get angry.

I understand what Anderson means here, but the better time to “get angry” was almost twelve years ago when the administration was leading the country into an unnecessary and illegal war. Getting angry about the war now is both too little and too late. If one has only just recently started to get angry in response to the colossal waste, destruction, futility, and cruelty of that unnecessary war, I don’t understand what took this long. Then again, it’s also an inadequate response, since it yields no understanding of how the war happened or why something similar could all too easily happen again. As long as enough of us presume that our government has the right to attack and invade other countries because their regimes might one day pose some threat to us, there will eventually be another equally senseless war that we start that will needlessly claim thousands of lives.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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