So we're finally getting the hell out of there. After 10 years of monetary and human cost, we're finally saying that Iraq has to fly on its own and shape their own destiny. So what does that mean for us?
Well, firstly, I think posterity will be somewhat kind when looking back on the Iraq War. They will talk about how inept Donald Rumsfeld was, and how for 8 years of the war it looked like an unwinnable shit storm that was poorly executed.
They will also talk about how unpopular the war was and how President Bush was largely villified for the whole affair. Text books will show the protesters holding their "No Blood for Oil," signs, and when talking about American culture it will be noted how big of a fad it was in Hollywood to shit allover the Bush administration. The books will speak of a country divided over the prospect of "making the world safe for democracy."
There might also be mention of the military implications of the whole conflict. I think we've lost less than 10,000 American lives after 10 years of bloody conflict. We actually toppled the government and affected the surrender of Saddam's army within a month of actually invading the country. This will be a lesson in how technology has significantly impacted the way wars are faught. We seem to have reached a point where we can inflict heavy casualties upon our enemies while sustaining as few casualties as possible on our end. Our technology is making it so that one man can kill as many human beings as possible.
Should Iraq prosper, should their democracy work and actually help the country flourish, then the Iraq War will likely be viewed as a success. It might sound sickening to us to consider such a thought, but if the Iraqi people can live free in a democratic society then why shouldn't it be considered a success?
Perhaps there's no such thing as a "successful" war. All wars are bad, even if they're justified, and even if the end result means the world has a greater potential to be a better place. Wars leave deep scars that can't ever be undone. Though there are many dead, there are those still living who will have the bear the burden of their loved ones' sacrifices until they draw their own terminal breath.
Unlike Vietnam, we didn't sustain heavy casualties and we stuck with it to the end. After 10 years, we can say that Iraq at least has a chance to craft a decent society. We can only hope that the Iraqi people take this opportunity that we've given them with spilt blood, and flourish as a democratic society that values liberty and justice.