(Washington, D.C., March 20, 2023): On the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, DAWN's journal, Democracy in Exile, asked Iraqis and additional voices in the region, along with other regional experts: What is one lesson that still has not been learned from the war in Iraq, 20 years later?
"Twenty years ago, I was in Baghdad when the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began. Two decades later, I look back and wonder, what lessons have we learned from this disastrous war?" said Raed Jarrar, Advocacy Director at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN). "As someone who has spent a significant portion of my life working on Middle East issues, I can say that one lesson still has not been learned: U.S. interventionism and support for abusive governments in the region must end. We must recognize that our actions have real and lasting consequences, and we must take responsibility for them."
"In the absence of any accountability for American officials who led the unlawful invasion of Iraq based on lies and naked criminality, the U.S. foreign policy community has avoided any serious reckoning for this failure to reexamine the problematic precepts on which our policies continue to be based: U.S. primacy, hubris and hegemony," said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Executive Director of DAWN. "The result has been a never-ending cycle of failures on repeat, for the peoples of both the region and our country."
For more perspectives and policy recommendations, read the more than dozen responses in the roundtable here.