Some may say it’s been going on for more than the few, costly years by which we mark it. The thousands of Americans dead and the tens of thousands wounded, and the countless Iraqis hurt, maimed, or killed might not know how long this has gone on.
But history gives us some insight.
I saw a picture this morning from over a hundred years ago. It was a picture of people defending their land against Americans. These people were Filipino and they were defending the Philippines again American invasion in 1899. The war lasted 14 years and cost thousands of American lives. Actually, it cost nearly as many as we’ve already lost in Iraq in a far shorter time. Over 500,000 Filipinos died. There were many atrocities committed then, just as there are now.
I say that the war in Iraq has lasted far longer than we know because, as you can see, the United States hasn’t always been the good guy. We have often invaded small countries, trying to take what does not belong to us, in the Philippines, in Vietnam, in Korea, in Iraq. Once it was territory. Then, it was oil. These wars aren’t started to “bring democracy”; the Philippine-American war started after the Spanish-American War and that small nation remains unstable to this day.
But just as the warmongers have always been with us, so have those who have spoken out for peace. In 1899, those opposed to the subjugation of the Philippines included Mark Twain, William Jennings Bryan, and Andrew Carnegie, just as many famous names along with those less famous speak out today.
One day, maybe someone will listen.