Iraq War Was No Mere Blunder. 'It Was a Crime'

Author Sinan Antoon reflects 15 years later
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2018 1:44 PM CDT
Iraq War Was No Mere Blunder. 'It Was a Crime'
In this photo taken April 9, 2003, a statue of Saddam is about to come down in Baghdad.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

The US invaded Iraq 15 years ago this week and eventually ousted Saddam Hussein from power. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that Americans remain divided about the war all this time later: 48% say it was wrong to send in the military and 43% say it was right. As Pew notes, that's not too far from the opinions back in 2003, when 50% thought it was the wrong decision and 38% supported it. One clear voice in the "wrong" camp is that of novelist Sinan Antoon, who grew up in Iraq but has lived in the US since arriving here in 1991 for grad school. In a New York Times op-ed, Antoon writes that while he opposed Saddam, he also opposed the war over fears it would do more harm than good. He writes that his subsequent visits to Iraq have confirmed those fears.

"The invasion of Iraq is often spoken of in the United States as a 'blunder,' or even a 'colossal mistake,'" he writes. Neither suffices. "It was a crime." Antoon is angry that the US leaders who pushed for and executed the war have not been held accountable, given that "credible estimates" put the number of those killed as a result of the US invasion at 1 million. Today, corruption is rampant and the nation's social fabric is in tatters. "I never thought that Iraq could ever be worse than it was during Saddam’s reign, but that is what America’s war achieved and bequeathed to Iraqis." Click for the full column. (More Iraq war stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.