The Psychology of “the Mindset” that Got Us into the War in Iraq

As brilliantly defined by Prof. Andrew Bacevich, of The American Conservative:

The Iraq War represents the ultimate
manifestation of the American expectation that the exercise of power
abroad offers a corrective to whatever ailments afflict us at home.
Rather than setting our own house in order, we insist on the world
accommodating itself to our requirements. The problem is not that we
are profligate or self-absorbed; it is that others are obstinate and
bigoted. Therefore, they must change so that our own habits will remain
beyond scrutiny.

all the obstacles to a revival of genuine conservatism, this absence of
self-awareness constitutes the greatest. As long as we refuse to see
ourselves as we really are, the status quo will persist, and
conservative values will continue to be marginalized. Here, too,
recognition that the Iraq War has been a fool’s errand—that cheap oil,
the essential lubricant of the American way of life, is gone for
good—may have a salutary effect. Acknowledging failure just might open
the door to self-reflection.

Here’s a photo taken by a combat photojournalist known as Zoriah, who helpfully allows blog posts of his work, and talks about the scenes he photographs. This is a blast wall constructed around Sadr City.

He writes:

The Sadr City Wall: a highly controversial project which has effectively walled two to four million Iraqis inside the planet’s most dangerous neighborhood.  The U.S. Military sees it as show of strength to the insurgents who call Sadr City home, as well as way to control who and enters and exits the city.  The locals see it as another hostile move by the occupying forces, a major inconvenience for working and moving from place to place, as well as a potential danger since peaceful residents may not be able to escape when more rounds of fierce fighting erupt.

Part of our "success" in Iraq, no doubt.


Published by Kit Stolz

I'm a freelance reporter and writer based in Ventura County.

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