The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Memorial is coming

A recent NPR report, “Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation aims for a monument on the National Mall”, alerted me to this project. Authorized by Congress in 2017, it is entering the design selection phase now. The group driving this is the aforementioned GWOT Memorial Foundation, and it states its objectives as:

Honor: Salute all who served in this conflict: service members, civilians, and their families.

Heal: Provide a focal point for healing and reflection on a complex, multigenerational conflict.

Empower: Engage and educate civilian and military communities to build mutual understanding.

Unite: Foster and sustain the sense of patriotism that brought all Americans together in the wake of 9/11, and catalyze support for those continuing to serve.

Under the banner of Heal we should insist on a recounting of a bit more than the usual patriotic gore of our monuments.

For starters:

  • How about mention of President Bush and his cronies Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, et al. telling lies to launch the Iraq War?
  • Of the 19 men who carried out the 9/11 attacks, 15 were from Saudi Arabia, others from Egypt, UAE, and Lebanon. Iraq?? Afghanistan??
  • How about mention that we spent more than 8 $trillion on these wars.1
  • How ‘bout the civilian casualties numbering over 900,000
  • Failed states in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • As of March 2023 more than 1.1 million Iraqis are still displaced refugees2
  • The US continues to conduct extra-judicial killings in many countries. US troops have conducted military operatiopns in more than 80 countries between 2018-2020.3

But, of course, the Iraq War gave President Bush the opportunity to look like a warrior. He flew to the aircraft carrier Lincoln to make a speech allegedly announcing the end of the Iraq War on May 1, 2003. As a side note, he flew across the US and then jumped onto a plane to land on the carrier off the coast of San Diego. Nowhere near any war zone. Another political stunt.