There was a remarkable piece titled “What We Wrought” recently in America, a Jesuit publication, by a Catholic pacifist long active against the U.S. led overthrow of Saddam Hussein. It is remarkable primarily because even as it bewails how the U.S. “destroyed” Iraq, it omits all mention of Saddam and his own central role in Iraq’s destruction.
The Catholic anti-war activist recalls her own travel 12 years ago to Iraq under the unnamed dictator in solidarity against international sanctions and against the impending U.S. led invasion. She was active with “Voices in the Wilderness,” a now disbanded group militantly against Iraq war and sanctions, as well as U.S. nuclear weapons and Israeli policies.“You destroyed our country,” the Catholic activist quotes one Iraqi student recently telling her. Another tells her, “You destroyed our ancient civilization. You took our childhood. You took our dreams. What can you do? You drop bombs, commit war crimes and then send research teams to investigate what is in the bombs. What can you do? We will not forget. It is not written in our hearts, it is carved in our hearts.” Iraq’s recent resurgence in sectarian violence is recounted in the America piece at length as evidence of America’s crimes against Iraq, even several years after U.S. military withdrawal. For many there will never be any statute of limitations on American culpability for Iraq’s travails.But this anti-American narrative omits almost all history prior to the Persian Gulf War, which the America piece briefly cites without explaining what precipitated it, which of course would distract from the article’s polemical goal. What prompted such focused American attention on Iraq across two decades is never detailed.
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