Iraq Is Still a Controversial Topic, Even Among Trump Supporters

Iraq—15 years later.

What did we learn? Anything?

We still can’t even sort out why it happened. At a time when Americans in survey after survey show they’re ignorant and uneducated about even the most basic civics questions.

Unable to identity the Bill of Rights, people can hardly sift through the contentious historical record and land on an answer about what Iraq was.

How can you make sense of the Democracy Agenda when you don’t even know your own democracy?

Parents don’t want to tell their kids about it, not in any detail. For them it was a far off thing that didn’t go very well. Except, that is, for families with people who served.

Then the Iraq War is a monster presence.


But what do their kids learn?

It’s been a long 15 years. This is pre-iPhone days we’re talking. Back when it was a big deal for a war to appear on TV in real time. Shock and Awe wasn’t that much different from Wolf Blitzer live in Kuwait. It was just bigger. Upgraded. A true sequel.

And it still couldn’t hold a candle to 9/11.

Jump on YouTube—how many memes and viral videos have the TV clips of Shock and Awe spawned? Probably a lot fewer than Saddam Hussein’s execution. Definitely a lot fewer than the ISIS beheading tapes.

The Iraq War made less of a dent on the internet than terrorism.

That says something about the way the internet works. But it also tells us that we’re never going to resolve the debate about Iraq the old fashioned way. It’s not like the Kennedy assassination or 9/11. There’s no conspiracy to drag out into the light. No dark secret to be revealed.

Just a lot of dead bodies and a lot of burned cash.

And a big distraction from the reality that America’s political establishment just didn’t know what to do anymore.

Privatize social security? Bush failed epically on that one.

Guest worker program? Yeah, right.

How about balance the budget?

Nobody really wanted these things. They weren’t the people’s priorities.

And by the time Obama came around it got worse from there. Bailouts. Out of court settlements with the fraudster bank cartels. The individual mandate. Obama’s most significant achievement was “evolving” on gay marriage.

And ordinary Americans watched the fight at home slip away… not in front of the cameras, not on all the cable networks… not even on YouTube.

Offscreen. In the dark.

The shadows of depression and debt and drugs.

That losing fight gave us Trump. But not even all of his voters really accepted that Americans had been losing a battle on their own soil even more devastating to America’s fortunes than Iraq.

Some still don’t.