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Few political blunders in the last 60 years have been more damaging to life and culture than the launching and prosecuting of the 2003 Iraq war.
Aside from leading to the deaths of over 120,000 civilians and the “cleansing” of the Iraqi Christian community, it thrust our country into a debt crisis from which there may be no return; it discredited U.S. conservatism by linking it to the hawkish “Bush doctrine”.
It alienated moderates and paved the way for the election of Barack Obama, which heralded social revolutions in sex, marriage, and anti-Christianity the successes of which I say the president himself could hardly have imagined when he first took office.
Shame is the proper response to the judgment that we’ve done something wrong, not just to getting caught. But if nothing else works, public exposure can have salutary effects.
Now that the definitive failure of our “nation building” experiment in Iraq has been devastatingly exposed, nobody but the most intrepid hawk would dare say we did the right thing in March 2003.
Defenders of the invasion should have felt shame long ago, certainly no later than September 2006, when the Senate released its second of two damning reports on Iraq’s weapons-of-mass-destruction programs.
There were no WMDs — anywhere! Many, however, including in my own house (i.e., among Christian conservatives), still clung to the conviction that at least the world was better off without Saddam. Is it now also better off without Iraqi Christians?
For our own souls and the souls of many thousands who depend upon our response, it’s time for people of religious faith who made the case for the 2003 Iraq war to confess publicly our error and unhinge our political carts from the horse of easy war.