Nowruz, the Iraq War, and my eyeballs

Today is Nowruz, the ancient Iranian holiday celebrating the arrival of spring and, in the Iranian calendar, a new year. That really lovely holiday has unfortunately been marred since 2003 by the fact that it falls on the same day as the anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, for which I suppose we should note that no one has ever been held accountable despite the fact that it was a thoroughly criminal act that set of a series of other thoroughly criminal acts perpetrated by the American government.

Yeah, good one bro

As to the third part of the title to this post, well, I just got back from getting dilated at the eye doctor, and even staring at my computer screen for the time it’s taken me to write this has been enough to make me want to scoop my eyes out of my head with a melon baller. So I would invite you to enjoy the post I wrote on this date a year ago, which is short but angry, and includes a link to my own Persian language-inflected attempt at a Nowruz explainer if that’s something you’re interested in reading. And I would say that it is unlikely that I’ll be writing a conflict update this evening–the real conflict, my friends, is with my comically wide open pupils and any source of light. Seriously I expect my eyes will be fine in a few hours but I don’t think that will leave me enough time to actually churn one of those monster posts out tonight. If I’m wrong, I’ll see you later, but otherwise, see you tomorrow.

I suppose it feels like the war is over to most people in the US, which is all well and good, but try telling that to the Iraqi people, who haven’t known so much as a month of uninterrupted peace since the morning of March 20, 2003, when the Project for the New American Century finally got its new American century, the rest of the world be damned (literally). And yeah, Saddam Hussein is no more, and the human race is richer for his demise. But at what cost? At what ongoing cost?

The utterly unnecessary and comprehensively disastrous Iraq War animates a lot of my own views on war and peace, American foreign policy, and the unjustified/unjustifiable deference our political and media discourse still gives to the Professional Experts and Very Serious Pundits who watched the most avoidable foreign policy fiasco in American history unfold before them and did nothing, or else cheered it on. By and large those people haven’t suffered so much as a minor professional inconvenience over their malpractice–they certainly haven’t suffered anything like the Iraqi people have suffered for the past 13 years.

Source: Nowruz, and the Iraq War at 13

Hi, how’s it going? Thanks for reading; attwiw wouldn’t exist without you! If you enjoyed this or any other posts here, please share widely and help build our audience. You can like this site on Facebook or follow me on Twitter as well. Most critically, if you’re a regular reader I hope you’ll read this and consider helping this place to stay alive.

Nowruz, and the Iraq War at 13

First off, belated Nowruz greetings to all of you. As people learn more about Iran I find that there are more and more Nowruz “explainers” out there for people to read, though I’m still partial to the one I wrote back in 2013. This one from NPR is nice, though.

Today is also the 13th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. If you’re looking for some historical analysis of the war and its effects, get back to me when it ends. Because it really never has, banners and aircraft carriers and bulging presidential codpieces aside.

g-cvr-080501-mission-10a-grid-6x2

Yeah, it actually never was, was it?

I suppose it feels like the war is over to most people in the US, which is all well and good, but try telling that to the Iraqi people, who haven’t known so much as a month of uninterrupted peace since the morning of March 20, 2003, when the Project for the New American Century finally got its new American century, the rest of the world be damned (literally). And yeah, Saddam Hussein is no more, and the human race is richer for his demise. But at what cost? At what ongoing cost?

The utterly unnecessary and comprehensively disastrous Iraq War animates a lot of my own views on war and peace, American foreign policy, and the unjustified/unjustifiable deference our political and media discourse still gives to the Professional Experts and Very Serious Pundits who watched the most avoidable foreign policy fiasco in American history unfold before them and did nothing, or else cheered it on. By and large those people haven’t suffered so much as a minor professional inconvenience over their malpractice–they certainly haven’t suffered anything like the Iraqi people have suffered for the past 13 years.

It’s ironically fitting that this war’s anniversary falls on or very near to Nowruz every year. “Nowruz” means “new day” in Persian, or “new light” if you want to really be archaic about it. The idea of turning the page on the past, of giving yourself a clear slate for the coming year, is implicit in the holiday and its commemoration of the world’s annual spring rebirth after another desolate winter. It would be wonderful if we could all turn the page on the Iraq War, but the fighting it began still very much rages on, and once that finally stops its consequences will be with all of us for many more years to come.

Nowruz Mobarak!

Happy Iranian New Year (or spring equinox, if you prefer), everybody! Here in Virginia I’m ringing in the new season with snow on the ground and a head cold, so this is likely the last thing you’ll be seeing from me today. But as I did last year I thought I’d post a link to my 2013 Nowruz post over on my infrequently-updated Persian blog, in case anybody is interested in learning more about the holiday. Happy spring and thanks for reading!