Last month, US Representative Dana Rohrabacher called for Iraq to consider “repaying the United States” for “helping them establish democracy.” Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush is now taking credit on his website for having “liberated millions of people.”
The US invasion of Iraq led to the deaths of at least hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Two million more Iraqis became refugees. They did not ask to be invaded. This is not the path to democracy that any society would want.
If we are to truly align US foreign policy with the values of freedom and democracy, we must be honest about our past. We cannot allow US politicians to replace the history of Iraq’s suffering with a fictional romance of liberation. Otherwise, it will be even easier for policymakers to repeat such an invasion in the future. After all, before Iraq, there was Vietnam.