Listen on the go: Four Days investigation, narrated by Kevin Donovan and Bill Moyers, is a five-part series on the Iraq War, the war on terror, and the impact it had on the lives of ordinary Americans and their families.
In an effort to learn as much as possible about the Iraq War, I had become increasingly curious about how the country was handling the current Iraq War. So when my colleague Kevin Donovan, author of The War Within: The Pentagon, the Media, and Iraq’s Collapse, sent me a link to an article in The New York Times that had been published over the weekend, I clicked on it immediately. I am glad I did.
After reading the entire article, I found the following: The U.S. government, the U.S. military, and its allies had failed, both literally and figuratively, to win their war against al Qaeda and its ilk. But the country had been losing, too.
The U.S. had, along with most of the country, been consumed by a war against terrorists for the past 25 years, in a manner, I now know, that was profoundly at odds with how our citizens viewed our current mission in Iraq.
The question arises: What happened to the concept of American exceptionalism?
The war against Iraq had produced a new strain of anti-Americanism infecting the entire country that was in sharp conflict with the long-term narrative of a strong country under attack.
The war against terrorism was a very successful strategy. It was designed to rid the world of a violent and destructive group operating from the shadows, but it has done nothing to stem the rise of extremist groups. And the U.S. military is the architect of this new strain of anti-Americanism in the country. The U.S. military is the single greatest force driving anti-Americanism in the country today.
This is a troubling finding for everyone – for American soldiers serving in Iraq, for the American people, for the country of Iraq, and for the U.S. government.
My goal is to highlight that this anti-Americanism cannot be attributed to the Iraq War alone.
The Iraq War is but one of many things on the American political scene that are part of the larger anti-Americanism that has plagued our country since it emerged