Unsanitised history

It is ten years since the invasion of Iraq by the United States and the few countries willing to join it. Happening to be in Washington in February, and recalling worldwide protests in 2003, I was struck by what seems to be American amnesia about the war and its consequences. At least in Australia groups are exploring ways to prevent such catastrophic expeditions in the future. Even as Afghanistan follows Iraq towards a similar conclusion, the US government’s war mentality is kept alive by contestation with China, eyeballing of North Korea, countdown over Iran, nervousness about Syria, demands for more military spending, and war hunger in sections of the media. Americans’ nerves are further strained by domestic threats like cyber-infiltration, extreme weather, and mass killings, against which conventional defences seem powerless. Past wars don’t end all wars.

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Published in April 2013 no. 350

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