Every day, new stories break about Americans torturing Iraqis, dead detainees, and collective punishment. A common argument from supports of the war, or the administration are that these acts are committed by rogue elements of the military and are not representative. The argument from many people on the left is that the political and military leadership should not have set the conditions that encouraged this behavior and should have paid attention to make sure that it wasn’t happening. I’m here to tell you that what set the conditions for these actions was invading and occupying another country. They’re part of the package. America has the best trained soldiers, probably ever, but it doesn’t matter. All of the awful things that are happening in Iraq are completely consistent with the history of warfare and occupation, and were as inevitable as the sun coming up this morning as soon as the decision was made to “liberate” Iraq. I wonder how many people would have supported invading Iraq if the President had given a speech in March, 2003 saying that it is part of our duty in the holy fight against terror to have American soldiers play the role of brutal occupiers, detaining, torturing, and killing as many Iraqis as necessary in order to pacify the country. What’s really depressing is that I’d be willing to bet that the architects of this war didn’t think that’s how it would turn out, and if you’re that naive, you have no business starting wars in the first place.