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The Profound Background of the Iraq War
Voices were brought to a small whisper as the lights were dimmed. Smoke erupted and fizzled, as the army marched in. Many families cheered when they saw their beloved ones. They were welcomed in a sweet aroma surrounded by flowers, “Welcome home” signs, but, most of all, by their cherished ones. There were hugs, cheers, and tears filling up the room. To many, the Iraq War has ended! What if we rewind to the day that sparked this sudden war? We could go back to the day that fired up this war filled with slaughtering innocent lives and bloodshed. We need to recognize the government’s paranoia, which caused this abrupt eruption to occur.
Square One: It all started with a secret menace. Iraq and Iran just were rebuilding their economies, corrupted country, and they were trying to boost their poor oil industries. Their leader, Saddam Hussein, blamed other nations for their poverty and disastrous state. On July 1990, he commanded April Glaspie, the United States Ambassador, to his office. Saddam Hussein complained and rebuked the United States for Iraq’s crippled state. Furthermore, he believed that the United States was powerless and had no way to ever jumpstart war. April just calmly stated that the United States would cooperate and hoped to compromise, in order to bring the countries into a more stable relationship. (The Persian Gulf and Iraqi Wars: Chronicle of America’s Wars by: Lawrence J. Zwier and Matthew S. Weltig)
Invasion of the Iraqis: A few months later, on August 1, 1990, the CIA snapped a picture of an unusual incident. They noticed that Iraq’s forces were piling up near the Kuwait border. They ignored it, assuming it was nothing important. Their hypothesis was incorrect. A day later, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Iraqi forces outnumbered the Kuwait troops approximately 12.5: 1(The Persian Gulf and Iraqi Wars: Chronicle of America’s Wars by: Lawrence J. Zwier and Matthew S. Weltig). Former President George H. Bush announced, “This will not stand, this invasion of Kuwait.”(The Persian Gulf and Iraqi Wars: Chronicle of America’s Wars by: Lawrence J. Zwier and Matthew S. Weltig) Sadly, in his heart he knew that there was no possible way of persuading the Iraqis to move out of Iraq. However, other international organizations were shocked and took immediate action. The U.N. tried to convince the Iraqis to move out by cutting off most trading facilities. Iraq just ignored this threat and casually shrugged it off. This is just the beginning of the short Persian Gulf War aka Operation Desert Storm.
The Tension Builds and Hope Starts to Sink. Or Does It? Arguments were flying to and fro. Threats, consolidations, compromises and bribes were suggested to try to force the Iraqi forces to move out. Iraq just simply turned down the offers and continued to claim Kuwait. Additionally, Iraq smothered the human rights of the Kuwaitis. In spite of this situation, a coalition was made among the following countries: U.S., British, and France, to help pressure troops out of Iraq. A small handful of countries showed support for Iraq. Only Jordan, Cuba, and Yemen were on their side. After many disputes, the coalition (against Iraq) decided to destroy all Iraqi defenses. The coalition sent many bomber planes, cruise missiles, and stealth craft to wreak Iraq’s defenses. The Iraqis felt defenseless and felt that there was no way out. The attack was brought to a halt on February 28, 1991. Iraq finally surrendered.
The Threat that Shook the World: Ten years later, on September 11, 2001, history was scrawled in United States history books. Many rushed to the scene and saw the World Trade Center on fire and soon to collapse. Al-Qaeda, a group of Islamic extremists, had successfully had flown two commercial aircrafts into the building, which vaporized thousands of innocent lives and broke millions of hearts. At 8:46, a jetliner shattered the North Tower, and at 9:03 a second one caused a fragment of the South Tower to explode. Later on, two others collided in U.S. grounds; one in the western part of the Pentagon and the other in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania (-www.9-11commission.gov). As the result of this incident, the United States government rose suspicion of weapons the Iraqis have in store.
The Government’s Maneuver: After continuous amount of interrogation about the weapons, Bush just cut it to the chase. On March 17, 2003, he demanded that Saddam Hussein and his two sons (Qusay and Uday) to bring this to a compromise or leave Iraq within 48 hours. Since Saddam disobeyed them, planting his feet firmly on the ground, on March 19, 2003, former President George W. Bush triggered the war by announcing the first attack that was bound to occur the next day. So, on the next day dust filled the air in Iraq from the deployment of many bombs on a bunker complex, where it was believed that the Saddam and other high status leaders were initiating a secret meeting. In fact, that belief was false. A few days later, Saddam’s face appeared on television, persuading the Iraqis to resist the U.S. troops. The outcome to this that there were more persisting attacks, which drove the U.S. Army even deeper. Within three weeks, the United States and Britain had successfully invaded Iraq.
History of Iraq War
Bush launches invasion of Iraq
NY Times reported 380 explosives disappeared
U.S. Army death toll climbs to 4,000
Mar. 19, 2003
Oct, 24, 2004
Mar. 23, 2008
Dec. 14, 2003
Dec. 30, 2006
Dec. 15, 2011
Saddam Hussein is captured
Saddam Hussein is executed
Troops begin to withdraw
Few Months into the War: Even though things seemed to be working fine, the situation was truly hectic. Iraqis rioted, and the crime rate started to rise vastly. Many cases of lootings were in place. Police would be seen as essential to an anarchic state like this. The Iraqis did indeed have police forces, but they were weak, disorganized, and only a small number was available. After Saddam Hussein’s removal from his position, 400 political parties in Iraq emerged. The hunt for Saddam was officially on! He snuck out, knowing that he was going to face serious consequences if he was found.
Where was Saddam found? After deliberate research, Saddam Hussein was found in a dark, scanty hole in a two-room mud shack on December 13, 2004. After two years, on December 30, 2006, Saddam was executed. There was an intermingling in the insight of the people. Many thought he deserved it because he was the one who brought the war in Iraq. Others opposed and brought out that he patron aged education.
Hayder Findi stated, “Saddam wasted my life. All my memories of him involve wars and military service. All my dreams went with wind because of him." (-Time magazine, “Iraq After Saddam”)
Bassam Sheikly was against the execution and pointed out, "Saddam has done a lot for Iraq. He gave us education and security. And I always remember him as the one who defeated the Persians. I think he is a national hero." (-Time magazine, “Iraq After Saddam”)
After Saddam’s death, the U.S. Army was still struggling to protect innocent Iraqis living in the area from Al-Qaeda. On March 23, 2008, was the day that marked the death toll of 4,000 U.S. Army casualties (since the beginning of the Iraq War). Many soldiers have fought to save others, many lost limbs, many have been blown up by suicide bombers, but all have fought hard, and so they deserve to be recognized. They all risked their lives and many left their families to fight for United States.
The Call Off: On August 31, 2010, President Obama declared an end to combat troop operation. He announced, “We have sent our young men and women to make enormous sacrifices in Iraq, and spent vast resources abroad at a time of tight budgets at home... Now, it’s time to turn the page.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/world/01military.html?pagewanted=all). Leon Penetta, Defense Secretary for the United States, proposed a plan that after most of the combat troops withdraws from Iraq, 3,000-4,000 will stay to await their withdrawal at the end of 2012. Finally, on December 15, 2011, was the day that the war in Iraq finally had come to a conclusion. After continuous struggle, defeat, and troops living under squalid conditions, it paid off. Or has it? Will Iraq be accountable of their actions, or will it still be corrupted as it is now? All we can do is watch and see what will become of the Iraqis.
-COOPER, HELENE, and SHERYL STOLBERG. "Obama Declares an End to Combat Mission in Iraq - NYTimes.com." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., 31 Aug. 2010. Web. 1 Mar. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/world/01military.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all>.
-Crichton, Kyle, Gina Lamb, and Rogene F. Jacquette. "Timeline: Major Events in the Iraq War." The New York Times. The New York Times, 31 Aug. 2010. Web. 11 Mar. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/08/31/world/middleeast/20100831-Iraq-Timeline.html>.
-Doak, Robin S. Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Milwaukee, WI: World Almanac Library, 2007. Print.
-"Iraq War." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 9 Feb. 2012. <http://www.history.com/topics/iraq-war>.
-KUKIS/Baghdad, MARK. "Iraq After Saddam." Time. Time, 30 Dec. 2006. Web. 1 Mar. 2012. <http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0%2C8599%2C1573261%2C00.html>.
-"Iraq After Saddam Hussein." BBC News. 12 Feb. 2003. Web. 1 Mar. 2012. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1879841.stm>.
-"National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States." Heroism and Horror. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Web. 11 Mar. 2012. <http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch9.htm>.
-Nardo, Don. The Persian Gulf War. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 1991. Print.
-Zwier, Lawrence J., and Matthew Scott. Weltig. The Persian Gulf and Iraqi Wars. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 2005. Print.