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IPFS News Link • WAR: About that War

The 'Forever Wars' Enshrined

• by Andrew Bacevich and Tom Engelhardt

As Bacevich points out, the memorial to American soldiers who were sent into that chaos and died is essentially hidden away in a small Midwestern town, which tells you what you need to know about the value Americans actually place on those wars.

Of course, there is one other shrine in this country, New York City's 9/11 Memorial and Museum, dedicated to the nearly 3,000 civilians who died in al-Qaeda's initial attacks. Ever since, civilians have suffered massively without any kind of commemoration whatsoever – and yet, in a sense, you might say that there are indeed another set of "memorials" to the dead of the post-9/11 war on terror. You just have to put that word in quotation marks. I'm thinking about the rubblized cities of the Middle East. Of, for instance, Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, significant parts of which were, in 2017, reduced to ruins by American air power and artillery (which delivered an estimated 29,000 munitions) and ISIS suicide bombs and other explosives.  It still largely remains so. I'm thinking of the Syrian provincial city of Raqqa, on which the U.S. and allied air forces reportedly rained more than 20,000 bombs and which also remains in rubble. Other Iraqi cities like Ramadi and Fallujah had similar experiences.