March 21, 2019

March 20 was the 16th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War.


And people like Ari Fleischer took the opportunity to LIE AGAIN about the war and non-existent WMDs.

And this anniversary saw more lies from more Republicans, some the same Republicans as before. We're going to hurt our soldiers for the sake of a lie, that a "wall" will fix immigration.

Yep, "The Wall" is the Iraq War of 2019.

And so Chris Hayes takes three minutes of his show on Wednesday and says this:

CHRIS HAYES: Today marks the 16th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War. It is the single biggest tragedy in my political lifetime and formative experience. I was 23 when we set out to invade Iraq, and I watched how, in an atmosphere of fear, leaders in power manipulated the public to form an elite consensus that we had to undertake... that seemed to me and many at the time and ever more so now indefensibly wrong. But so many experts said we had to do it, that Saddam was a threat and Bush's administration used that to take to war.

Millions took to the streets. I was among them.

And we were right and the editorial boards and columnists, they were all wrong.

The cost of that war was nearly 5,000 American service members' lives, trillions of US dollars and the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Hundreds of thousands of fellow human beings, men, women, and children dead because of the events that our nation set in motion. Prisoners tortured, children shot dead in front of their parents by mercenaries... and 16 years later we still live with the consequences, though not as much as Iraqis and the people responsible never really paid the price, politically.

The people who voted for it still have prominent positions, and some have recognized the error of their ways, and that matters. But the broader lesson is when you don't confront the past, you create conditions that lead to something like the current administration where cheerleader hack John Bolton is convincing the president he is the National Security Advisor, and as we speak banging the drums of war against Iraq and Venezuela.

And unless we deal with the Trump era differently than the Bush administration, history will repeat itself again. Right now you can go to the Worldwide Speakers' Group website to book, for a fee, John Kelly who oversaw the DHS department while they were developing a policy to tear children away from their parents. A man whose trusted staffer had been accused of domestic violence by two ex-wives who then defended said staffer, who lied again about a member of Congress in a desperate attempt to protect the president. And you can now pay to hear that man's wisdom.

You know, one of the main lessons of the Trump era is that shamelessness is a kind of political superpower. But the more I think about it on this day, of all day, I realize they learned that from the Iraq war crew.

Driftglass always says "Memory is the liberal superpower," and Chris Hayes proved that Wednesday night.

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