A few months ago (back in March) I wrote about how people were ignoring what was going on in Iraq. Once President Maliki sort of threw us out, people in the US seemed to think we’d had a complete victory, and that this “Young Democracy” would flourish just as the Bush administration had sold its propaganda to us. It’s amazing to me how gullible the American people are. There was no chance that Maliki was going to do anything in Iraq except become the kind of government that was all they’d known since the advent of Saddam Hussein. It was just going to be Shia authoritarianism instead of Sunni dictatorship. In spite of his promises to the contrary, Maliki has never made any real attempt to include Sunnis in his government. He even went so far as to chase some of them out of the country and throw others in jail. People who were members of Parliament. The Vice President. Sunni fighters were rarely welcomed into the army or the police and lost access to jobs and paychecks to support their families. Support was withdrawn from the members of the “Awakening” which had turned to help the Occupiers. He sent in his “special” troops to break up a peaceful demonstration, and that was the last straw before the latest explosion.
Anger and resentment has been building among the Sunnis since the Americans left. It is not surprising, especially with the turmoil going on in Syria, that jihadi fighters have returned and helped the rebellious Sunni in Anbar province retake Fallujah.
I can’t imagine what it must be like for the marines who fought and gained the city back in 2004. They thought they were doing the right thing. They fought hard, hand-to-hand in many cases, and lost a lot of comrades in the bloodiest of bloody battles. Many came home missing body parts and with severe cases of PTSD. Even so many thought they had done the right thing in answering the call to war. Those responsible for sending them and lying to the American public about Saddam’s connection to 9/11 and his WMD have never been held accountable for their betrayal of the public trust and the trust of their soldiers. The prize those leaders sought was never to be had, no matter what they did to engineer something that looked a bit like representative government in Iraq.
It’s a bitter, bitter pill to swallow.