War in Iraq

The occupation of Iraq is a war on us all

The War in Iraq is controversial. Viewpoints on the war have sharply divided the nation, ironically reflecting a certain truth about the war. Indeed, the war also has a dual paradoxical nature; it is itself mired in lies and deceit, even as hope for a free and democratic Iraq persists. George bush needed his war so he created one.

The cassus bellum (the justification for acts of war) for such a war was dubious from the start. With the dust still settling in New York after the devastating 9-11 attacks, President George Bush quickly went to work creating a war that would solidify his name, for better or (more likely) for worse, in American history. As Bush stated in 2003, “free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction. There will be a free and peaceful Iraq.” How ironic it was then, that with the hawkish Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at his side, George Bush was determined to do whatever was necessary to once again send American soldiers to Iraq and finally crush the Hussein dictatorship, ostensibly(to all outward appearances) in the name of democracy.

With the mass media playing megaphone to the White House in the patriotic fervor following 9-11, it was surprisingly easy for President Bush to get his war. However, doubts persisted, both at home and abroad, as to whether the United States cause was truly just. Even before the war, rumors had already stirred that despite the White House's fear-mongering, there was in fact no credible threat from Iraq, and that the much feared weapons of mass destruction would not be found, because they simply did not exist (nor have they been found since).

Such doubts would not deter the war effort, led by President Bush. Iraq was turned upside down. Every high ranking member of the former Iraqi Republican regime was hunted down and killed or arrested. Those lucky enough to survive the hunt were sent to Guantanamo Bay for “questioning” where they were tortured for information on the whereabouts of these supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction that we now know never existed. Those that were killed were grotesquely paraded before the American public in mass media as the latest trophies of the war effort.

Simultaneously, Americans were being presented with the semi-fictional view that great progress was being made, and the Iraqi people were ecstatic with the liberation (not to be confused with ‘occupation') of their country. Media pundits and party supporters assured the public that the onerous biological and chemical weapons so feared before the war would be found. After all, what else could justify the skyrocketing cost of war, as measured not only in dollars, but in human lives spent in pursuit of the supposedly threatened safety and security of our great land?

Was the cost really worth the effort? Even as early as 2003, we had already sent 486 American soldiers home as casualties of the conflict and spent $54.4 billion of our hard earned American taxpayer dollars; which, in retrospect, is clearly money we did not have. This cost has skyrocketed to $845 billion in the present day, with 4,381 American soldiers killed and another 31,693 Coalition soldiers wounded.

And what benefits have we accrued? As we all now know, no Weapons of Mass Destruction were ever found, nor have fears of imminent terrorist attack been allayed. George Bush has now deflected our attention by focusing on Afghanistan, chasing after Taliban fighters in Operation Enduring Freedom. With our economy now in a death spiral, the previously pervasive American optimism in these war efforts are now being questioned even by the most trusting members of the American citizenry. Casualty reports, firsthand accounts of wounded veterans and scandalous accusations against American Private Military Corporations now fill the airwaves. How can we help another country when we have so many problems here? How can we extricate ourselves from these wars in the Middle East without shirking our responsibilities to the lives there that we have disrupted? How can the American moral subconscious reassure itself that it is, truly, a positive influence on the world stage, when we have waged an unjust war for a decade on the urging of a handful hawks?

When asked directly, 82-87% of the Iraqi populace is opposed to US occupation and wants US troops to leave. 47% of Iraqis support attacking US troops.[2]More Americans understand this now, as shown in the documentary filmThe Ground Truthwhich interviews American soldiers returning from Iraq and their families. As of the year 2007, President Bush's administration made a total of 935 false statements in a two-year period about Iraq's alleged threat to the United States [3]

I feel that we should listen to the Iraqi voice and bring our brothers and sisters back home. Let us focus on our great nation, The United States of America.

Works Cited

White, Deborah. "Iraq war facts". about.com. 3-2-10 <http://usliberals.about.com/od/homelandsecurit1/a/IraqNumbers.htm>.

Bush, George. W. "quotes-museum". 3-2-10 <http://www.quotes-museum.com/quote/12234>.

"icasualties". 3-2-10 <http://www.icasualties.org/>.

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