The “drawdown:” our take

I think growing up in the shadow of 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan darkened our generation’s political outlook. At the precise moment when we came of age politically, 9/11 presented us with a vivid lesson of evil in the world and its potential to inflict harm on our soil. The Iraq war followed by casting doubt on the ability of our government to effectively respond to terrorism, to win, or at least end, a war and to tell us the truth.
Eve Samborn, Forum editor

The war in Iraq, as a war in its truest sense, has been pretty inconsequential in my life. When I found out that the justification for the war (WMDs) was pretty much false, I felt lied to and betrayed. Because of that, I distanced myself from the war entirely. As a resident of New York City, 9/11 was real. That happened. The war in Iraq feels more like some hazy, far-away consequence of that tragedy. Drawdown of troops or not, the war is still going on, not that it ever really started in any tangible sense…at least for me.
Charlie Low, Forum editor

I feel old—or at the very least, dated. I remember Bush’s speech from the Oval Office, Saddam Hussein’s capture and hanging, the news of daily chaos in Baghdad. I’ve lived through coalitions and surges and a “mission accomplished.” To think that the last seven-plus years of my life will soon fade into a very permanent past, relegated to the final pages of history textbooks, is both awkward and humbling. To have the war removed from my daily grind…damn, that’s weird.
Cyrus Bahrassa, Forum editor

The most striking disparity between our situation and the Vietnam era is that we are so removed. We can only voluntarily enter into the armed services, while the ‘70s were marked by a draft. I would argue this has relegated us to a much more hands-off, words-on editorializing position since we are in no danger of having our number picked.
Richard Jesse Markel, Forum editor

The majority of my politically conscious, pseudo-adult life has taken place during the war in Iraq. I’ve grown up with it as a part of my background reality, like many other things that are taken for granted. I’ll remember the war as pictures on a television screen, one of many hot button issues on a political ticket, and the loss of many lives. I can only imagine that the experience of saying to my children, “Yes, I was alive during the Iraq war,” will be filled with sadness, reverence and regret.
Alissa Rotblatt, Forum editor

Operation Iraqi Freedom was a firsthand lesson in how to be an American. Initial reports of weapons of mass destruction and the capture of Saddam Hussein led to patriotic fervor and support for the war, but subsequent data led me to question the effectiveness of the government and the quality of information needed to affect U.S. foreign policy.
Josh Goldman, Associate editor

I was in Disney World when the Iraq War began. My family had just checked into our hotel at the Animal Kingdom when the four of us slumped into our resting areas (my parents and sister on the bed, myself on the floor) and turned on the TV. The bombs broke like fireworks in the sky. Now, in a very literal way, the war is over. It’s over for most of our troops and the government’s budget. But to me, Iraq, which was once unknowable, is now in my face and mind, a hyper-salient wall of knowledge, a houseguest who’s never leaving.
Percy Olsen, Senior Cadenza editor

I personally felt so detached from the conflict that I found it hard to care outside of a cursory glance at the combat update from time to time. So long as I can draft-dodge, I think this war is as pointless as any, and I view the drawdown of troops as merely something that should have happened a long time ago.
AJ Sundar, Senior Forum editor

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