The simple days are gone where I could recall with fondness the words of a once-beloved leader and feel the inspiring chills toward a noble cause. “America is a friend to the people of Iraq,” the commander-in-chief had said, stirring a desire for justice and compassion. “Our demands are directed only at the regime that enslaves them and threatens us. When these demands are met, the first and greatest benefit will come to Iraqi men, women and children.”
Freedom and Democracy would be delivered to the people of Iraq by the world’s most sophisticated fighting force as part of a larger “global war on terror.” It was a tune that was easy to sing along to, with 79% of U.S. citizens polled in May of 2003 saying that the war in Iraq was justified. Actually it was two tunes: one song was fierce and militaristic; we would “shock and awe” the forces of evil. The other was reverent and chivalrous; we would defend the defenseless and introduce a reign of freedom to some of the most oppressed peoples in the world.