Anniversaries are supposed to be happy events; a time to celebrate a birth, a marriage, a first kiss... So when someone on ABC news this morning said that today was the "one year anniversary" of the US invasion of Iraq, it struck a dissonant chord.
Had the Iraq war been a response to a direct threat to the US and resulted in the defeat and liberation of a people and we had gone home triumphant as part of a world-wide coalition, then perhaps we could call this an anniversary. But at a time when we have started a war against a country that was no direct - or even indirect - threat to our own, we have alienated our allies and we are bogged down in a vicious guerilla war long after our Commander in Chief declared it to be at an end; this is no time for celebrating.
To call this an anniversary while, on average, more than a soldier a day is being killed by insurgents, is obscene. When these same insurgents are making sure, by killing civilians - Iraqi and foreign - to put the lie to the statement that the Iraqis are better off now than while Hussein was still in power; that is no time to celebrate. We have a long way to go to clean up the mess that our stuffed flightsuit has made in the Middle East.
Perhaps it's best to call today The One Year Memorial.