The invasion of Iraq was unquestionably one of the greatest crimes of the last several decades. Â Imagine what future historians will say about it — a nakedly aggressive war launched under the falsest of pretenses, in brazen violation of every relevant precept of law, which destroyed an entire country, killed huge numbers of innocent people, and devastated the entire population.
Have we even remotely treated it as what it is? Â We’re willing to concede it was a “mistake” — a good-natured and completely understandable lapse of judgment — but only the shrill and unhinged among us call it a crime.
As always, it’s worth recalling that Robert Jackson, the lead prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, insisted in his Closing Argument against the Nazi war criminals that “the central crime in this pattern of crimes” was not genocide or mass deportation or concentration camps; rather, “the kingpin which holds them all together, is the plot for aggressive wars.” Â History teaches that aggressive war is the greatest and most dangerous of all crimes — as it enables even worse acts of inhumanity — and illegal, aggressive war is precisely what we did in Iraq, to great devastation.