In the Name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful
In the recent days and weeks, a number of public opinion polls have been released which highlight the growing unease of the American public with the debacle called “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” A majority of Americans polled now believe going to war in Iraq was a mistake. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll released September 17, only 44% of Americans said the U.S. did the right thing by invading Iraq. In another poll conducted by the University of Maryland, three-fourths of those surveyed said overthrowing Iraq’s authoritarian government and establishing a democracy there was not a sufficient reason to go to war in Iraq.
I’m sure many of the war’s staunchest supporters find these numbers troubling, and they must be asking themselves why there is such growing skepticism among the American people. Well, I think I know why: more and more of us are beginning to feel like we were duped.
First of all, everyone in the Administration – before the war – kept saying Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The British, in fact, told us that a weapon could be deployed in 45 minutes. That is the main reason why the American people supported going into Iraq in the beginning. After we went in, there were no weapons…anywhere. We looked, and looked, and looked, and looked: none were ever found. So, why did we invade Iraq again?
Saddam Hussein was a very “bad man.” That was the next reason touted. Yes, Saddam Hussein was a very “bad man.” Yet, he was just as bad when we supported his war against Iran. He was just as bad when we sold him weapons and gave him the Anthrax that we claimed he will unleash on American cities if we did not invade. He was as bad when Donald Rumsfeld went to visit President Saddam in the 1980s. So, why did we invade Iraq again?
“Because,” they told us, “we are fighting the terrorists there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” Well, before we invaded Iraq, it was not the haven for Al Qaeda that Iraq is today. The 9/11 Commission found no evidence of a link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. There was no evidence of a link between Iraq and 9/11. Iraq was never the “central front of the war on terror” before we invaded. It is now, and it is so precisely because of our invasion.
You see, every reason given to us by the Administration has turned out to be bogus, and more of the American people are beginning to realize this. Meanwhile, with each day, more American soldiers (and Iraqi civilians) are being maimed and murdered. We are spending more and more of our hard-earned tax money for a war that was waged based on faulty pretenses at best (if not outright lies and trickery). Thus, support for the war is slipping and, I’m afraid, will continue to slip as time passes.
And there is no easy solution to this Iraq mess. If we leave, I am afraid more chaos will reign in Iraq, and the already unstable Middle East will become further destabilized. If we stay, without sending more troops to secure the borders of Iraq and finally quell the ugly insurgency, nothing will be accomplished except further loss of American and Iraqi life. And I don’t think anyone in their right mind would be calling for more troops to Iraq. No, there is no easy solution to the Iraqi quagmire. So, tell me, why did we invade Iraq again?