On May 1st, 2003, former President George W. Bush delivered a speech on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in front of a large banner that read “Mission Accomplished.” It was the culmination of America’s return after 9/11: Apaches had just bombed downtown Baghdad to smithereens, Saddam Hussein was in our custody, everyone in the country was bumping “Hey Ya” and 50 Cent just dropped Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Uncle Sam was back and better than ever.
And, of course now, we know the rest of the story. Operation Iraqi Freedom had opened a can of blood-sucking worms centuries in the making. Hussein’s removal would ignite a decade-long civil war between the Sunnis, Shi’ites and Kurds, with the troops of the American occupation standing right in its crossfire. Its result? The death of 4,000 soldiers and over tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens; a fractured Mesopotamian democracy; a half-ass stalemate on America’s lengthy war record. “Mission Accomplished” was the farthest thing from the truth.
Last Monday, we “celebrated” the tenth anniversary of Dubya’s terribly ironic address but coincidence could not have struck at a worse time. Enter Syria.
**Last political column for NYU Local evah**