This month marks the tenth year anniversary of the Iraq War. A war the Bush administration failed to go through congress and formally declare war. Now in 2008 I was deployed over to the Middle Eastern country as a United States Marine. When I received my orders for deployment I will admit I was scared. I was leaving my family and friends to do what I signed up for. With news reports floating around about suicide bombers and IEDs, I honestly believed that my chances of returning became a bit slim. However, when I got there I saw our effect in the country and what we caused when searching for “WMDS.”
The invasion of Iraq all started on March 19th, 2003. Two years after the attacks on 9/11 the United States was beginning its military build up, gearing up for another conflict. After the 9/11 attacks the United States was already involved in Afghanistan as it began its hunt of Osama bin Laden. Two years later the Bush administration and its allies began to feed the public with lies about the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Information began to leak out of the regime in Iraq of starting up again their nuclear arms program.
Now as I sat in my living room listening to the Commander and Chief of this nation say that Saddam possessed the equipment needed to build a nuclear weapon again I agreed then that something needed to be done. Little to my knowledge at the time U.N Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix took a trip to Iraq to inspect its nuclear facilities. When he returned to give his assessment he informed the U.N council that Saddams nuclear facilities were already decommissioned since the first Gulf War and showed no signs that they were heading in the direction of bringing it back online.
The media however, just kept reiterating what the president was saying. That our nation was in danger because of Saddam Hussein and the fact that he was assisting Al Qaeda in attacking the United States. The sad thing about that is that Saddam despised Osama bin Laden so any coalition between the two was more far fetched than A-Rod denying the use of performance enhancers the second time since being accused. The fact that we demanded Hussein to leave Iraq was a very foolish move. What nation has ever went on t.v and demand the step down of a leader and if he didn’t then there would be military consequences.
When we began our bombardment of Iraq we must have forgot that innocent civilians lived in the nation. As we showed our brute military force innocent men, women, and children were being killed by our weapons. Now a lot of people would say that there were islamic militants in the country of Iraq as we saw a spike in U.S casualties and injuries. For a second think outside of the box. The reason why there was such a rise in insurgency is because we caused it.
After we invaded the nation we disbanded all of Saddams forces whether it be the military to police officers, we now believed that anyone under Saddams regime was an enemy to the U.S and its allies. So we severely undercut the border security of Iraq. On top of that we were killing innocent men and women. Lets be honest with ourselves in war everyone is a casualty. So as civilians were being killed and Iraqis becoming unemployed it was only time before an insurgency would grow from all these effects.
We created the vacuum for insurgency. As Islamic militants began to funnel inside of Iraq they began to recruit people to fight the Americans. Now lets play a role game and lets say another nation for example China decides to invade the U.S. Would Americans sit by and say hey welcome to our country we welcome you the Communist nation of China to America. No we would not Americans would bound together and create our own milita because this is our homeland and we will never allow a foreign force to occupy our nation. So why would the people of Iraq do just that and bow down and allow for the invasion to go through.
Then as we occupied the country military personnel began to do acts which can be categorize as a disgrace to the uniform. One example can be from the events which took place in Abu Gharib. Where prisoners were not being treated as they should be under the Geneva Convention. That as well as the deaths of innocent civilians added fuel to the hatred of the American led invasion. While I was over there I asked an Iraqi man who was part of the Iraqi Army how he felt about the us being there. He replied in telling me that he felt bad for my parents who have to wait back at home whether or not I would come home alive. He understood the sacrifice we were making by being there but he believed that we should have never been there in the first place. Around this time that I ask him that question was the 2008 president election. So I had to ask him who he preferred to win. His response made me chuckle a bit as he said I want Obama because I know with him you guys will be sent home with another man like McCain who is no different than Bush you will be here forever as though a colony of the United States of America.
What got me infruiated was the fact that when we stop by in villages Iraqi families would run up to our humvees and ask for food and water. When we asked how their living situation was they replied in saying that it was worse than it was under Saddam where some towns were still waiting in getting their water supply fixed or even food. I saw a house which had a hole on the side of it from a bombing which took place 2005 was still not fixed. The owner of the house states that he has been waiting for compensation from the bombing. As past units who passed by we said we were not the ones to talk to about it because we have no control over the giving of money in terms of [for?] compensation.
As we bombed and destroyed we did little to rebuild that country. To this day in 2013 Iraq is in a much worst shape then what it was before we invaded. We promised in removing a dictator, promised for a democratic future, and promised a future of prosperity and yet we have a sectarian violence that has been raging on ever since 2005. While listening to WNYC an Iraqi woman went onto the station and stated that during Saddams regime she was able to hold a high level job and now she is not allowed to hold the very same job she had under Saddams reign and is now being told what she has to wear. We went into a nation based on the lies of our government and our media. It took years after the invasion for the truth to actually come out. Many men and women who served may have comeback however, they may have comeback suffering a physical injury or even one that is not seen such as the mental aspect of going off to war. Many have come home with PTSD and find it very hard to adapt back to the civilian world they once were a part of. Many families were not able to have the fortune as my family in seeing their son comeback home alive. I do not want to make it seem that those who served were mercenaries because we’re not. We don’t care about the politics once we have our boots on the ground. Our main concern is for the man to the left and right of us. we serve our nation but most importantly we serve our fellow brother and sister. Our government failed us and lied to us. Yet not one single cabinet member of the Bush administration has been tried for war crimes. Yet with the Benghazi attack the GOP wants to dig in so deep that they will damage peoples careers as they go along coming up with conspiracy theories that Obama lied about what happened. Yet we see no hearing in the miss information of what led to the invasion of Iraq. We made a mistake and a mistake which has made a nation so unstable that it can pop at anytime. My deployment taught me that not all Muslims are terrorist and that one must not judge a group or man or woman by his religious beliefs or from where he is from rather for the character of his heart. I met many Iraqis who were easy to talk to and relate to. And I hope that the mess we made can hopefully be fixed without a full scale sectarian war however, such a dream or wish is hard to be lieve will happen. But anything is possible.
For those who did not make home to their families my prayers go out to those families for you made the ultimate sacrifice. Hopefully we as a whole will learn from this dark day in our nations history and not repeat it again. For war must be a decision where we know we are going for the right reason not lies. For the lives of human being s is not something to be so easily dismissed.