Anniversary of Atrocity: Why The Lies That Led To The Iraq War Still Matter


Today is the 21 year anniversary of when Colin Powell sold us the lie about WMD’s in Iraq and I feel like it is important to once again remind people that the American government is still making up blatant lies to sell unnecessary wars so rich dudes can make a bunch of money from killing innocent people.

The bluntness of that statement may come off as churlish but I assure you it is anything but. It is merely the somber reality that comes with living life under the American empire; the most ruthless force of conquest and destruction around the world in all of recorded history of human civilization.

To that statement many who are still trapped in collectivist tribalist ideology that consider themselves apple pie loving, flag waving “patriots” would vary derisively and vitriolically, likely with a slew of expletives, regurgitate some variation of the tired “If you don’t love it, leave it!” mantra. Thereby entirely missing the point.

The word “patriots” is placed in quotation marks due to the abject irony of referring to oneself as a patriot while vehemently and unquestioningly marching in lockstep with one’s own government. Many of those same individuals whom would likely display disdain for it in a separate context. The true mark of a man’s patriotism should be so deeply rooted in his love for his country and his countrymen that he is willing to hold his government accountable to ensure that no excess of abuse would undermine his God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the peace and prosperity of all his people. Moreover, I am reminded of the immortal words of the great Ron Paul —

Who among us with any shred of a moral constitution can honestly assert that the mass slaughter of human beings for profit is right or just in any capacity? Furthermore, how would “leaving it” if one doesn’t “love it” in any way solve the issue? The brutality of the American empire, either directly or by proxy via the imperialism of its western allies, reaches every corner of the globe. Nowhere can one go where they are untouched by the death machine that is the military industrial complex or the greater auspices of corporate colonialism or economic erosion that accompany its policies.

As a people we have to stand united in calling for an end to slaughterhouse politics. Today is as good of a day as any to remind our fellow countrymen of that utmost patriotic of duties.

On February 5th 2003 Secretary of State for the George W Bush administration Colin Powell sat before the United Nations Security council asserting that the United states had irrefutable and undeniable evidence that the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein was still harboring and producing weapons of mass destruction. This, combined with other dubious claims of Saddam’s alleged relationship with al Qaeda and supposed connection to the September 11th 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center were used as the pretext to justify U.S. military intervention culminating with the March 2003 invasion and overthrow of Iraq.

Secretary of State Colin Powell addresses the United Nations Security Council, February 5th 2003. Photo: Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive/ Getty Images

Despite the alleged veracity of these claims we now have undeniable and irrefutable evidence that the justification for the war in Iraq were all based on blatant lies. A series of declassified memos from the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) as reported by The Intercept have shown that Powell not only deliberately misled the Security Council, but outright fabricated evidence to do so.

What’s more, in 2015 White House emails were released that served as the proverbial smoking gun showing that former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. President George W Bush had already privately come to the conclusion to invade Iraq at least one year ahead of time. This is compounded by further reports including that of former Bush administration Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill in 2004 that the president had already begun formulating plans to topple Saddam in early 2001 prior to the attacks of 9/11. Demonstrating the lengths to which plans for conquest are made and providing further credence for statements made by former NATO supreme allied commander U.S. Army general Wesley Clark.

Iraq is just one of the multiple perpetually turning gears of the American war machine which has, since its very inception almost exclusively relied on lies and deception to justify its military incursions for profit. A racket by any definition.

Since its outset this ill-fated atrocity has cost the lives of thousands of American servicemen conned into believing they were doing the right thing to protect their country, either directly by the ravages of war or indirectly through the epidemic of veteran suicide and a government all too keen to throw them away like broken toys and offer little to no assistance for the trauma incurred on their behalf. As well as over a million Iraqis doomed to die as pawns on the chess board of geopolitical power struggles. All while corporate war profiteers the likes of Halliburton, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, private military contractors and others rake in billions of dollars in profit.

The lies that led to Iraq still matter because it is a strategy still playing on repeat like a broken record among Washington DC’s criminal predator class. We’ve seen this tragic travesty play out right in front of our eyes with regard to the US-backed proxy war in Ukraine. Even more recently with the backing of Israel’s genocide in Gaza, and overall escalating tensions throughout the Middle East and Asia as this catastrophic policy marches us ever closer towards war with Iran, China, Russia, and mutually assured destruction all in the name of maintaining an ailing US-led unipolar hegemony.

Remembering the lies that led to the destruction of Iraq is not only imperative to seek some kind of justice and accountability for that crime in and of itself, but to ensure that we as a people do not continue on the path of making the same mistakes as we have so repeatedly done in the 20 years since. So as not to condemn yet another generation of American children to grow into mercenaries for a heartless machine that would see them kill and die for the financial gain of a small cabal of psychopaths.