Until Logic Comes into Play This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      In January of 2000, when George Walker Bush became president, he had many supporters, including my parents. They chose him to protect our family, and everyone else in America, and for eight months he succeeded. Then the Twin Towers in New York City crashed to the ground because of terrorists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. By October, our troops were in Afghanistan to destroy al-Qaeda and remove the Taliban from power. In March of 2003 we entered Iraq in order to, as our president explained, “disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.” As quickly as the war began, respect for President Bush declined and his promise to protect us was broken. The war got bigger and bigger until now most Americans - 67% according to ABC News as of February - think that sending troops to Iraq was a terrible mistake.

Four hundred and five billion dollars + over 3,170 U.S. military deaths + 22,400 U.S. wounded + lost hope + four years = the war in Iraq. I believe it was a mistake to go to Iraq because we are not fighting an army. Instead we are trying to kill all the terrorists, and by trying to do this, Bush is only bringing death to our troops. The death toll of American military personnel keeps rising while bombers kill citizens and troops daily. Too many Americans have been sacrificed.

Now, I understand that the majority of Iraqis have done nothing to deserve their fate, and I have no problem helping them except when it jeopardizes our nation. It seems like going over there has done no one any good. Not everyone will agree with me. Many will say that Bush is doing all he can to obtain peace, that he is pressured to find a solution to the war. This seems correct until logic comes into play.

First, we have been bombing places where suspected terrorists are, often killing innocent Iraqis as a result. Bush is bombing for peace? That’s the epitome of an oxymoron! Second, of course, Bush is under pressure - he’s the president of the United States of America, a job that is not going to be a walk in the park.

Another reason sending troops to Iraq is a mistake is because we first need to focus on our country. We need to support our troops before we send them anywhere. After 9/11, every business and house was flying the American flag. Now, we act as if nothing ever happened. This is an insult to our troops because if they are going to continue to fight and die, the least we can do is show our utmost support.

It is hard to understand what families with soldiers in Iraq must deal with. I keep reminding myself of Sgt. Graham Hesketh, who was only 35 when his life came to an end. Sgt. Hesketh was on a routine patrol in Basra City when a roadside bomb targeted the armored vehicle he was commanding. Hesketh was the only one in his unit killed; he left behind a seven-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son. As of last April, more than 1,200 American children have lost a parent to the war in Iraq. Hesketh’s father described him as “a very courageous young man” and a “very great asset to the Army.” If soldiers had not been sent to Iraq, Hesketh’s children would probably still have a father.

Now, before you argue that despite everything it was a good idea to send troops to Iraq, think about President Bush’s promise. Think about the trouble brought about by foreign affairs. Think about our strategies in Iraq. Think about all those who have been killed. Think, like John Olver, a congressman for Massachusetts, when he stated that “clearly, a stable, unified and democratic Iraq cannot be achieved militarily by the U.S.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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