After Four Years of War in Iraq
by Jerome Grossman
March 20th is the fourth anniversary of the U.S. attack on Iraq. Already one of the longest wars in U.S. history, with military victory unlikely if not impossible, the obvious question is, how long before we bring the troops home.
For possible guidance, examine the record of the Vietnam War. On October 15, 1969, the Vietnam Moratorium brought ten million Americans to rallies all over the country calling for an end to the war. It was the largest demonstration in history.
On Boston Common, Senator George McGovern addressed more than 100,000 roaring people who did not work that day to illustrate their seriousness. That evening I spoke to 10,000 who packed Roberts Auditorium at Boston College. As I started to speak, I could feel the anger of the crowd. They did not cheer my words, they roared their feelings. I held onto the lectern against the torrent of anger. At that moment I believed that there was no way the war could continue.
But it did – for four more deadly years, wasting precious American and Vietnamese lives and billions of dollars in a dishonorable futile display of hubris. Will the same process be repeated on Iraq?
It is easy for a superpower to go to war against a backward nation of 25 million people, but it is difficult to get out without losing prestige abroad and political power at home. Let that be the unfortunate lesson to our future presidents.