The Iraq war began in March of 2003. It ended May 1, 2003. This is the first of many misconceptions about the Iraq war. So in this article I’ll explain some of the myths and lies told about this war, and who is spreading them.
Let me start out by saying that this article is not about Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, it’s about common sense. Even though I am Conservative, there are still myths that need to be busted, lies that must be exposed.
So, as I mentioned earlier, the first misconception is that the “war” is still going on. Technically, it is not. President Bush declared on May 1, 2003 that major combat operations in Iraq were over. That ended the “war”. But there was still a lot of work to do, although it’s nor a “war”. In a sense we were waging peace.
Another myth is in the lead up to the war and the “pre-war intelligence” and the “weapons of mass destruction”. Many people have stated over and over that President Bush claimed Saddam Hussein was partly responsible for 9-11. In fact, Saddam was not responsible for 9-11 and had no operational control of 9-11. But the myth here is that the President never claimed that. He has never made the statement that Iraq and 9-11 had a link, ever.
Next, there was the so-called lie about weapons of mass destruction that “were never found”. That also, is false. It is true that the claims by the U.S. and U.N. were not entirely accurate in 20/20 hindsight. There were no stockpiles found. But using common sense, you can deduct where they might have gone. If you were a radical dictator and another nation (with the most powerful military in the world) said you have 48 hours to give up your WMD and leave the country or we will topple you, what would you do? Did you really expect Saddam to have rolled over and given up his weapons? Or further, do you think he would have let them lay out for the world to see? No, he wouldn’t and didn’t. That is why I suspect that he shipped them or smuggled them out of the country before the invasion.
Yet another myth has come up; the claim that no WMD were ever found. That is also false. As I mentioned above, there were no stockpiles of weapons found, but enough to worry about. In an operation on June 23, 2004, the U.S. military found 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium. The military has also seized over 1,000 radioactive materials in a powdered form which can easy be used in dirty bombs. Another instance is when soldiers found 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons agents in an Iraqi warehouse. Also, on May 17, 2004, a roadside IED, containing the nerve agent Sarin, exploded near a U.S. convoy. But because of bad bomb making, the substance was not widely dispersed. So, Saddam did have WMD that could have been provided to terrorists.
Another false claim is that Iraq and al-Qaeda were not linked. They did have connections that eased al-Qaeda’s plans. The document Able Danger, states that the leader of the 9-11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta met with the Iraqi ambassador to the Czech Republic on April 9, 2001. Also, the mere fact that Saddam was in a minority of Middle East leaders who praised al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden for 9-11. He went so far as to have a mural painted on a military base depicting the attacks. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, fled to there from Afghanistan in 2002 to prevent being captured.
Saddam also had connections with other terrorist groups. He paid Palestinian suicide bomber’s families $25,000 for their child’s act. Saddam also allowed a terrorist training camp named Salman Pak to be used by a number of terrorists. The camp featured an airplane fuselage where foreign terrorists could train to hijack planes. The designer of the bomb that killed 259 on board Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, Khala Khadr al-Salahat lived in Iraq and was captured in there in April 2003. In the September 18, 2003 USA Today, the paper reported that Iraq sheltered a suspect in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Abdul Rahman Yasin. Other Iraqi documents suggest the Iraqi government paid the payments on Yasin’s home every month. So, as you can see Saddam did have connections to al-Qaeda and many other terrorist groups for over a decade.
But above all there was only one document that allowed the United States to go into Iraq, and that was the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441. It stated and documented Saddam’s non-compliance of the other dozen or so resolutions that Saddam ignored. But most importantly, it gave Iraq a “final opportunity” to comply with the other resolutions. He didn’t, and that allowed the United States to declare war on them.
Now, some are correct to say that there were major mistakes in the war effort. The main blunder being that the coalition did not prevent a flooding of the borders by terrorists joining the fight. If the military had shut down the borders, not as many al-Qaeda and Iranian terrorists would have gotten in. Another mistake is in the size of our force. We currently have 160,000 troops on the ground. Many generals predicted that the U.S. needs at least 300,000 troops to secure a country Iraq’s size. Those mistakes multiplied and created the major problems we see today.
The war effort is not doing extremely well in Iraq. That is in part because of what is going on in the Capitol Building nearly every day. Now a majority of Representatives and Senators are undermining the war and the troops who fight it. Most of these are Democrats, but there are acceptations of both side of the political aisle. To win in Iraq we must first determine what victory is and what is defined as. The President’s definition is an Iraq the can govern, sustain, and defend itself and be an ally in the War on Terror. Apparently, Congress’s definition is zero suicide attacks and perfection in the Iraqi government. Now, seeing that the terrorist’s objective is to push us out and obtain a base for planning attacks, it would seem logical to assume the Democrat’s withdrawal wish, is exactly what the terrorists want. Plus, the Democrats politicize every death and attack and make it seem like there is no end to the violence. But there can be an end, when the attacks stop being politicized. Again using common sense, if you were a terrorist and you want the U.S. to pull out of Iraq; and in the U.S. there are prominent people pushing what you want and citing the violence that you cause, what would you do? Of course you would continue or even escalate your attacks so they get increasingly politicized and thus, eventually, the U.S. has to retreat. So the way to stop the violence is to stop the politicizing politicians who have adopted the terrorist’s goal and are unknowingly helping it succeed by throwing it on TV for the world to see.
So in conclusion, this was for you, I hope, some straight talk and fact-checking of the myths and lies about the different elements in the Iraq. I believe we need to focus more on that, and less on the politics of the war; because in this war, politics doesn’t stop at the waters edge. It can be broadcast for the world to see. So let us stand as a house joined together to win in Iraq. After all, Abe Lincoln said a house divided cannot stand, but an America that stands together, cannot be beaten.
The Teen Conservative