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You are here News Editorials Katrina vanden Heuvel: Lessons Learned From the Iraq Invasion

Katrina vanden Heuvel: Lessons Learned From the Iraq Invasion

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Iraq warThis week marked the tenth anniversary of the Iraq invasion and the beginning of a war that The Nation opposed fiercely and early on. Running scores of articles and editorials against the misguided mission, our writers sought to create an intelligent dialogue around the issue and provide alternative policies to move us forward in a more peaceful way.

The Nation’s first editorial on the subject ran on June 20, 2002: “War on Iraq Is Wrong.” In clear and certain terms, the editors outlined the glaring weaknesses in the administration’s argument for war and its obtuseness over the consequences of invasion. “If the United States proceeds alone or with only tacit support from others, Iraq’s collapse into anarchy cannot be ruled out,” warned the editors. “Democrats and Republicans, and all citizens with civic courage, must challenge a policy that poses a clear and present danger to international and American interests.”

In an open letter to Congress on September 25, 2002, the editors continued their informed criticism of the overthrow of the Iraqi government. Though the passage of an authorizing resolution seemed a foregone conclusion, they urged the members of Congress to speak out and stand together against the invasion. The silence of party leaders in the face of a simple, clear, and strong case against the war was troubling and

The Nation demanded that our representatives act in the interest of the country, rather than fall prey to egoism and power politics. “Reject the arrogance—and the ignorance—of power,” urged the editors. “Show respect for your constituents—they require your honest judgment, not capitulation to the executive. Say no to empire. Affirm the Republic. Preserve the peace. Vote against war in Iraq.”

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

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