May 1 is the seventh anniversary of the day that banner hung above the USS Abraham Lincoln. Remember?
What painful memories that image brings back!
Arrogant presidential swagger. The repetition of so many falsehoods. Misuse of the sacrifice of our troops and sailors. Glorying in the destructive orgy called “Shock & Awe.” The shroud of invisibility thrown over tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians left dead or homeless.
Among all the lies of that shameful day, none was more profoundly false and corrupting than the claim that “in the battle for Iraq,” victory was ours.
Few Americans were more deceived that afternoon than the sailors and troops who loudly cheered these assurances, and the implicit promise that they would soon be coming home, safely, and to stay.
But as they know today only too well, their mission was not accomplished – not then, not now.
From where I sit, the impact on US troops and families is the most visible: more than 5000 dead, tens of thousands wounded, families damaged, the list goes on.
But I’m also mindful of the much larger toll of Iraqi dead and wounded, especially civilians. This sign from one of our peace vigils speaks to it, however inadequately.