I was struggling to find words to convey my sorrow on this day, the ten-year anniversary of the US bombing and invasion of Iraq. Then I saw these words from Leslie Cagan:
Ten years ago this evening I was out walking the dog. I ran into the Washington Post reporter based in NYC who was writing about the pending war in Iraq and the anti-war movement in this country. He said, “Have you heard?” I hadn’t. He said, “The bombing has begun.” And then he asked how I felt about it.
It was not a surprise, but it was devastating. We all knew what we were up against….the overwhelming power wielded by the U.S government…but the massive world-wide outpouring of sentiment against going to war in Iraq had given us a small measure of hope. Maybe this time it could be different. Maybe there are enough people in every corner of the planet saying no that the mad-men in Washington would be forced to take another course. Maybe we could prevent a war.
Of course, we couldn’t. And now, ten years later, there is still no peace in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Palestine, in so many places in the world. And we are so very far from anything we might call justice!! Today is a sad, sad day as we note the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq war…the war that never should have happened. And it’s a day to reflect on how much work there is ahead, to recommit ourselves — in whatever ways we can — to the struggle for a just peace, and a peaceful justice.
I feel overwhelmingly sad today. Sad and powerless. Powerless within the most powerful nation the world has ever known. Powerless as a drop of water trying to stop a waterfall. I take no solace in history vindicating my—and the antiwar movement’s—position and our actions to try to stop this criminal war that has devastated so many lives.
Over the past ten years, I have met many whose lives have been uprooted by this war of choice; people who have lost family members, friends, homes, limbs, and sanity. Meeting them and working beside them for a better world is the only solace I take on this sad day. These friends and comrades are too many to name. But you know who you are. Much love to you on this day.