OMG! This week marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq! Remember “shock and awe?” It’s been a decade already!

Oh, how the time flies! Why it seems like only yesterday we all tuned into CNN—remember CNN? Simpler times!—to see Baghdad’s infrastructure decimated by the overwhelming superiority of American air power! I curled up on the couch to watch under my favorite throw blanket with chocolate chip cookies and a big glass of milk! Centuries of history went up in flames, not to mention power plants and other utilities that might’ve proved useful after the toppling of Saddam Hussein and, you know, people’s lives. Kablooie! The fun we had.

I can still hear the popping sound of George W. Bush’s war-boner, and the echoing ka-ching! of Halliburton cashing those checks. Blackwater. Disappearing people. Torture!—can’t forget torture! Remember when that guy on the news got waterboarded and people were all like, yo, that’s dumb, nobody should get waterboarded—RIGHT AS WE WERE DOING IT TO PEOPLE AGAINST THEIR WILL! Man, the look on his face was priceless.

Remember Colin Powell telling the United Nations there were mobile chem labs that Saddam was using to make WMDs and destroy Israel, like he ever gave even the mildest of craps about Israel? Remember when they pulled down that statue? Remember “Mission Accomplished?” Oh, that would’ve made a great meme if only it had been a few years later. You could put Grumpy Cat’s face over George Bush’s and make it “Mission NOT Accomplished!” and then plug the Kickstarter for your favorite band underneath! Support!

It’s been a wild 10 years for sure. The surge—proving once again that the best way to end a war is with a whole lot more war—and troops being deployed three, four times overseas, taken away from their families to fight Al Qaeda in the place where they weren’t until we got there. Yes indeed. We had to preserve those liberties—no wait, save the women from oppression—no wait, avenge 9/11—no wait, find those weapons of mass destruction Colin Powell talked about—no wait, finish the job George Bush Sr. started… Well, whatever it was, I’m sure we took care of it at some point! We’ve had 10 years!

Guantanamo Bay! Extraordinary rendition! The rise of drones! Billions upon billions of dollars of war debt! What human rights? These people are brown, can’t you see that? You know what was great? The complete cultural desensitization to the horrors of mass-scale violence called “war fatigue,” meaning that we as a people got to the point where we were actually tired of seeing our own sons and daughters get blown up after so much of it. Oh my. Put it all in an embroidered scrapbook and mark it “Precious Memories.”

Hey, did you have a veteran in your life come back from war a scarred and broken person? I did! He was my best friend. He came home a paranoid heroin addict, couldn’t hold a job and disappeared! I haven’t spoken to him in like three years and I have no idea where he is or what he’s doing and I loved him like a brother and got to watch his entire life fall apart! Maybe he’s dead! Ah, to think. A decade already. Good times.

JJ Koczan

jj@theaquarian.com

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