The "War" Is "Over"

And now we get to prematurely place behind us another quite troubling incident in our recent history. Secret prisons? Eh, let’s forget about those. Torture? Let’s just move on. A incredible transformation of huge chunks of the military into a privately contracted mercenary army? La la la la la! Years and years of National Guard reservists being unexpectedly called up for active duty in Iraq? Oh well! Thousands of soldiers having had their service contracts forcibly extended, creating a stop-lossed conscription army, under a policy that somehow no judge would find illegal? Sorry guys and gals! (And sorry families of dead guys and gals.) Operation New Dawn: the war we had after the war? Deadly. A decade of a wildly, wildly, crushingly expensive invasion, that involved more than a million Americans in combat, and the occupation of a country under false pretenses? Let’s just agree to not talk about it anymore. The CNN crawl says “Ceremony Ends Nine Years of Conflict,” which isn’t actually what happened either: we actually didn’t have a “conflict.” America’s great at putting things behind us, so guess we’ll just file this under “things that are already over,” though we still have billions of dollars to spend in ongoing operations. But at least we should let the Iraq War have an asterisk for “things that should never have happened.”

Photo: “The 297th Medical Company returns home as the last California National Guard unit to leave Iraq.”