Iraq War: Twenty Years Later
In a lively and insightful roundtable discussion, Ralph hosts former Marine company commander, Matthew Hoh, who when not deployed also worked in the Pentagon and the State Department and independent and unembedded Iraq war correspondent, Dahr Jamail. They mark the twentieth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and discuss the consequences of that misbegotten and illegal war. Plus, we hear a clip from Ralph’s and Patti Smith’s antiwar concert tour conducted in 2005.
Dahr Jamail is the author of Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq, as well as The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption. He is co-editor (with Stan Rushworth) of We Are the Middle of Forever: Indigenous Voices from Turtle Island on the Changing Earth.
It’s hard to even articulate the level of suffering (in Iraq). And this is the country that exists today, that I got to leave, the military got to leave— at least for the most part. But the Iraqi people can’t leave. And this is what they have to live with today.
Matthew Hoh is a Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy. Mr. Hoh took part in the American occupation of Iraq, first with a State Department reconstruction and governance team and then as a Marine Corps company commander. When not deployed, he worked on Afghanistan and Iraq war policy and operations issues at the Pentagon and State Department. In 2009, he resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan with the State Department over the American escalation of the war.
This consistent line of violence directed against the Iraqi people to achieve American political aims had been established for decades. And I went into it thinking that somehow we were different… “If I go into this war, I can affect the people around me because I am going to be good and I am going to be moral and I am not going to do bad things.” And that’s a complete fallacy. That’s an incredible mistake.
We have to go into this history because it’s going to happen again and again and again. The warmongers are active again on the Ukraine War now. More and more, we’re moving toward a conflict with Russia...Who knows what will happen, because there’s no break on our government. It’s as if it was a dictatorship when it comes to foreign policy.