25 Years of Bombing Iraq
Sunday, January 17 marked 25 years of bombing people in Iraq. It should be obvious that bombing is not effective and is not the answer. It does not solve problems and it does not keep anyone “safe.” A quarter-century later war continues.
Bombing began in 1991 with the first Gulf War. It continued with a decade of a no fly zone. Then came the 2nd Gulf War from 2003 to 2011. The U.S. today is bombing Iraq and Syria in a vain effort to defeat ISIS.
At the same time we’ve created millions of refugees, sent billions of dollars in weapons to the region, and sabotaged peace-making opportunities by refusing to talk with all parties involved. We have destabilized the entire region. Conflict continues in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia and Libya. We are not the cause of all these conflicts, but neither have we have contributed to solutions. Bombing and supplying bombs has not helped.
We have accomplished nothing in 25 years of fueling violence. Are the people of Iraq better off? Do they have a functioning democratic government? Is the world safer? Are we safer? I challenge anyone to name ONE positive outcome from the trillions of dollars wasted and millions of lives destroyed.
Killing innocent people is murder no matter how you kill them. When ISIS beheads journalists we are outraged by the “barbarism.” When we use drones, bombs, or cruise missiles to kill civilians it is “collateral damage.” Howard Zinn said it best, “There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
Dr. Micheal Cox, Founder of the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation, has said, “During my lifetime, the U.S. has bombed 25 countries killing millions of people and maiming tens of millions more. Since the end of World War II, no other country has killed or injured more people living outside of its borders. We spend more on war, and have more soldiers in other countries, than any other nation.”
January 18 was Martin Luther King Day. Dr. King has called our nation “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” He goes on to say, “I can not be silent.”
When will ever learn? When will we finally give peace and diplomacy a chance? We will change when more people of this country stop being silent and demand an end to bombing people on the other side of the world.