As I’m sure you all know March 20th 2003 is a very significant date. It is the date the invasion of Iraq started. Many names have been given to this, The Iraq War, Occupation of Iraq, the Second Gulf War, even Operation Iraqi Freedom. You see what strikes me as ironic is I was unaware that Iraq needed freeing. Of course the United States is a massive world power which claims to stand for hope, justice and peace. Now knowing this I should feel glad they intervened and decided their help and presence was wanted, even needed. However reading the facts I’m going to give you I wasn’t so sure BUT of course it’s your decision and your opinion.
For you to understand this war I think it is important that we look at the facts, the geography of the country and what is has to offer: Iraq has a population of more than 25 million, with 5 million inhabitants in their capital of Baghdad. Iraq borders Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria. It has a narrow outlet to the sea on the Gulf and a surface area of 438,317 square kilometers. Funnily enough it also happens to have the world’s second largest oil reserve after Saudi Arabia. It is estimated they hold around 12. 5 billion barrels, although i’m sure this information is irrelevant…
This war started due to America and its Allies all believing that Iraq under Saddam Hussein’s regime was a threat. When it was announced to the public that a war was about to declared and an invasion was about to be led, there was a huge outcry. We are now in the 21st century and I ask why there was a need to start another war? Looking at history and the past shows us the physical damages and the psychological damages that are caused by war. Innocent lives, innocent lives of mothers, fathers and children will inevitably be taken and I ask why did the United States and the Allies NOT think of this before?
President Bush delivered a speech on October 7th 2002 in Cincinnati where he strode onto a stage and told the audience that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq “possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons” and “is seeking nuclear weapons”. He also said “The danger is already significant and it only grows worse with time… If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today — and we do — does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons? ”
In reality Saddam Hussein refused to allow US officials and inspectors in to see whether Iraq actually had nuclear weapons. Although this could increase their suspicion that he had something to hide, I ask you was suspicion a good enough cause for a full led invasion? After the media showed the horrendous conditions and the dreadful situation in Iraq, there was a worldwide cry of outrage. The US government was pressurized to show what proof they had of Iraq’s supposed “weapons of mass destruction” and they were given a deadline to complete there report.
Although a team of surveyors were sent in to Iraq to search for evidence, none was found. A CIA report concludes “Saddam Hussein did not possess stockpiles of illicit weapons at the time of the U. S. invasion in March 2003 and had not begun any program to produce them”. This means that this war was started for absolutely no reason. This was NOT a just war as there is absolutely NO just reason. Since the day talks about war started, protestors started marching, organizations such as green-peace openly campaigned endlessly to prevent the war, however public opinion was not needed or wanted and the war went ahead.
George Bush famously gave the figure 30,000 “more or less” for the number of dead Iraqi civilians, however many surveys and established people disagree, 655,000 is the figure estimated by a US university. Considering that this is a war, and it is we who invaded Iraq are you surprised that 4,166 Allies soldiers have died. Our countrymen, brothers fathers and sons. So much hurt and pain was caused by this war, so many families have been torn apart, we should consider whether this was necessary could this have been avoided?
Bush claimed this war was a “war on terror” and this war was going to help the Iraqi people. Saddam Hussein had a dictatorship and it is commonly agreed that he was a tyrant and a dreadful leader. However the view of the majority of people was that it was neither Americas nor Britain’s place to interfere. Although yes there was a problem, it shouldn’t have been their decision to jeopardize the lives of our innocent soldiers; it was us who lost our brothers and fathers in the war. It was also not their right to jeopardize the lives of so many Iraqi civilians. Isn’t war a major issue?
Shouldn’t there have been some sort of referendum? Shouldn’t we have had a say? Many people spoke out against this war, protests and petitions were signed and there was an uproar from civilians. Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II- head of the Roman Catholic church and Jimmy Carter- former president of the United States, Nobel peace price winner all spoke out against and condemned the war. Celebrities also tried to use their influence to spread their views, Dustin Hoffman, Madonna, Sean Penn, Bianca Jagger, Sheryl Crow all openly spoke out and criticized Americas plan for the War.
More than 100 celebrities including Martin Sheen, Jessica Lange, Kim Basinger and Uma Thurman wrote a letter to Bush protesting against his threat to invade Iraq. However Bush and Blair were deaf to our views, all our protesting made no difference and we were forced to watch as two peoples choice cost thousands of lives. All the points I’ve spoken about can be backed and supported with evidence and proof, BUT what about justice? What about decency? What about humanity? What really strikes me is the fact that Iraq is only a country but the people who live there are humans.
There are thousands of innocent children sitting on roads orphaned due to this war, thousands of innocent woman are widowed due to this war, and thousands of innocent families will never be reunited because of this war. Hope, Justice and Peace. This is what America and its Allies are meant to stand for maybe it’s just me but I’m sure you agree. Were all human, we all have feelings, we all care about the innocent, and we all want to see justice served. However where is the justice now? We sit here safe and sound and we never realize that ‘those people all the way over in Iraq’ their just humans. Just like me. Just like you.