We Are Responsible for the Outcome in Iraq

“We,” as in anyone and everyone who considers him or herself a steward of democracy in the United States.  The reality:

The comparable numbers for the United States would be 1.1 – 1.6 million dead; an equal number infirmed; 22 million refugees eking out a precarious existence in Mexico and Canada; 22 million displaced persons within the country. We did not do all the killing and maiming; we did most of the destruction of infrastructure. To all these tragedies we are accessories before and during the fact.

Michael Brenner’s is an argument for citizenship and personal responsibility of the kind that is far too easily evaded by blaming (mostly) democratically elected leaders and their appointees.  The US is a democratic republic, no?

I had the privilege of watching former Marine Captain Tyler Boudreau make a similar point in his moving speech at the historic Riverside Church in Manhattan last year.  Here’s the video for those who couldn’t make it (small parts were, unfortunately, clipped to fit YouTube’s ten-minute restriction):

Brenner finishes his essay by insisting that we do not have the God-given authority to decide that the fate we bestowed on the Iraqis was ultimately worth it.  I find some folks inability to admit that they lack this right–the right to decide whether the lives of foreigners should be risked to bring those same foreigners “democracy,” to decide that it’s a risk the Iraqis would be willing to take–deeply disturbing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: