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The War in Iraq

27 Dec 2016History Essays

When US-led coalition forces invaded Iraq in 2003, it started this asymmetric and seemingly protracted war, also known as the 2nd Gulf War. The reasons and the costs remain controversial.

After the 1st Gulf War, then US Secretary of Defense and now US Vice-President Dick Cheney reported that the threats and dangers of Saddam Hussein have been neutralized. On the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Saddam and his media applauded and compared the destruction to similar acts of the US in other parts of the world. A year after Saddam was accused of possessing and developing weapons of mass destruction, an outright violation of UN sanctions. US President George W. Bush convinced the world through the UN General Assembly that Iraq renege on its commitments after the 1st Gulf War, which were: weapons of mass destructions, human rights, Kuwaiti prisoners of war, terrorism, SCUD missiles, Oil-For-Food, and the return of the UN inspectors. While it allowed the return of the inspectors, UN demanded verifiable disarmament and compliance to the other UN resolutions.

UN Chief Inspector Hans Blix noted that while Iraq granted prompt access, the team and Iraq failed to account the VX nerve agent, chemical agent and anthrax and that the team was unable to interview the Iraqi scientists outside of Iraq. On February 5, 2003 Colin Powell presented to the UN Security Council the genuine threat to international security by Iraq. The Bush Administration also claimed that Iraq was producing weapons of mass destruction. Failure to get the support for military action against Iraq from the UN Security Council, on March 17 the United States sent the ultimatum for Saddam to leave Iraq in 48 hours. On March 18 the US and its Allies formed the ‘Coalition of the Willing.’ On March 20, 2003 the US-led coalition invaded Iraq. In the US, 73% Americans approve of the invasion.

Lives Changed. Faez Shamran el Yaseri is a farmer who said life under Saddam was one of constant fear. He was a soldier of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. His comrades were killed when the weapons of Iraq backfired on its own soldiers. In this paper he says that what used to be ‘Uncle Sam’ is now ‘Uncle Bush.’ Ali Ismaeel Abbas is a 12-year old whose family was killed when a missile landed on his home in Baghdad. He lost both arms and his body was burned. His plight had stirred the hearts of millions around the world. Fawsia Abdul al-Attiya, a sociologist who teaches in Baghdad University says people have been more careful and distrustful. Basara al-Katub, mother of 3 thinks that they have given up most things they were used to doing like walking and biking down the street.

Heroes walked. Pcf Lori Piestwa was an American Indian soldier killed in an ambush. Sgt. Gary Hughes carried a pregnant woman to the hospital to give birth. Lt. Col. Cris Hughes backed off out of respect for civilians. Pvt. Nolen Ryan Hutchings made a proud marine killed by friendly fire. Capt. Cris Carte rescued an old woman trapped on a bridge during an exchange of fire. Sister Maryanne Pierre kept her hospital opened despite threats of looting and bombing. Varche Arsianan was a Red Cross worker killed in a crossfire. Maj. Hal Sellers served in the war despite a son waiting for a heart transplant. Ibrahim Younis and Francois Calas are doctors without borders who opted to stay in Iraq despite the war. Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez was a Guatemalan street orphan killed in combat. Chaplain Lt. Col. Philip Brigante comforted families of fallen soldiers and prayed with relatives of prisoners of war.

War Statistics. War expenditure for the US is US$379 billion and for the UK it is £4.5 billion. Casualties from Iraq: Military – 4,900 to 6,375, Insurgents -45,000 to 60,000, Security – 6,392. Casualties from the Coalition: US – 2,813, UK – 120 and Others – 119. Coalition deaths are fewer in the 2nd Gulf War than in the 1st. More British forces die from friendly fire than the US forces.

Reference:

  • Berchere, Max. (n.d.) Remembering the Attacks. 03 Nov 2006. Middle East. The New York Times.
  • Harris, Art. (16 Apr 2003). Iraqi Farmer Leaves Life of Fear Behind. 03 Nov 2006. War in Iraq.CNN. <http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/04/15/sprj.irq.faez/index.html>
  • Stephens, Avril. (8 April 2003). Ali’s Plight Touches Millions. 03 Nov 2006. CNN.
  • Cooper, Patrick. (25 June 2003). Coalition Deaths Fewer Than in 1991. 03 Nov. 2006. CNN
  • Heroes of War. (n.d.) Retrieved 03 Nov 2006 from
  • Iraq War. (n.d.). Retrieved 03 Nov 2006 from

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