Below is an excerpt from a Los Angeles Times interview with EMN Associate Director Matthew Hoh.
Matthew Hoh was a 28-year-old Marine captain assigned to the Pentagon in late 2002, just as then-President George W. Bush was laying the groundwork for war in Iraq. Like many of his generation, Hoh was steeled in his patriotism by the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, and he was eager to serve.
It was widely assumed at the time that the war would be swift and decisive. Hoh worried it would be over before his tour at the Pentagon freed him up to head to combat, and he’d miss his chance.
But the war would drag on another eight years. And 20 years later, it still weighs on Iraqis whose lives were destroyed and a Middle East that remains convulsed, along with Americans shocked at the humanitarian and moral disaster it became and the balance of power it wrought in Washington.
Now, Congress is poised to remove from the books the law that authorized the Iraq war, a step that would formally end the war.
“Here I am 20 years later and still talking about it today,” Hoh said. He eventually got his turn to serve in Iraq — two tours, in fact, and a third in Afghanistan as a civilian working for the State Department — and today is part of a campaign to repeal the law known as the Authorization to Use Military Force.
Read the full article here.