23 Mar 2015
The American war campaign against the military troops of Iraq began on 20th March 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by international troops led by United States of America and the United Kingdom. Then, the governments of the United States and United Kingdom and other European countries claimed that the possession of weapons of mass destruction by Iraq posed a threat to the international security. This assertion informed the invasion of Saddam Hussein's Iraq by the United States and its allies. This invasion has proven to be an unjustified act after it was confirmed that the regime of Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. In fact it was alleged that Saddam Hussein only bragged of possessing weapons of mass destruction so he could prevent the neighbouring Iran from ever considering invading his country.
Why would the United States invade Saddam Hussein's Iraq instead of going after the Taliban and the Al Qaeda terrorists groups? After the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks, the Al Qaeda extremists admitted to being responsible for the bombings and Osama Bin Laden himself admitted to giving the directive for the bombing. It was only logical that the United States of America would pursue the extremists groups directly and swiftly. However, President Bush's advisers were wrong in going after Saddam Hussein instead of Osama Bin Laden. By then, Osama was still at large and offering more threats and so it would have been easier to find him and bring him to book for atrocious mass killing, than going against Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein in fact had no direct ties to the Al Qaeda or Taliban.
The war in Iraq was pushed by the general objective of making the world a better place. The objective of the war was to convey a warning to other 'axis of evil' nations to stop their uranium enrichment programs. The United States feared that if the Islamic Republic of Iraq enriched itself with uranium, this would spark a nuclear arms race. President George W Bush coined the term 'axis of evil', in January 2002 State of the Union Address in an apparent reference to nations that were sympathetic to the Al Qaeda terrorist group and other international terrorist organizations. After that address, the United States embarked on a war campaign that as at 22 August this year has cost the administration 743 billion dollars  . The cost of the war has been especially difficult to manage given the existent global economic climate.
The effect of the Iraq war on the economy needs no advertising. The United States spends at least 200 million dollars on the Iraq war daily. In 2002, when President George W. Bush's economic adviser Larry Lindsey inferred that the war would cost approximately 200 billion dollars in the long run, people thought he had overestimated the costs. It is now clear that his estimation was a gross underestimation. The Iraq war has costs the United States taxpayer a whooping 730 billion dollars as at August 2010. President Bush's economical advisers anticipated a quick and reasonably inexpensive war, but instead the war dragged on and resulted in the deployment of more than 125,000 American soldiers. These American soldiers need food, shelter and at time entertainment and the only place they can derive these human wants is from Iraq. These soldiers have therefore been supplied by products made in Iraq and this has only helped build the Iraq economy while the United States economy continues to languish in budget deficits. Sustaining the large troop base in Iraq has meant the United States spent more and thereby accruing more debts.
The major casualties of the Iraq war have been the innocent civilians caught in the cross fire between American forces and its allies against the insurgent. Data available indicating the death toll from the invasion is varied, but critically indicting of the war. Different groups have given different information regarding the actual or even projected figure of Iraqi casualties. The Associated Press gave its figure of civilian casualties at approximately 110, 500 deaths as at April of last year. Another organization called the Iraq Body Count, which collects a database of Iraqi civilian casualties, released a report in April this year indicating that around 105, 000 innocent residents lost their lives from the American offensive  . War, if absolutely necessary, is meant to deliver humans from suffering and not create suffering instead. The staggering number of civilian casualties makes the war in Iraq more harmful than helpful. This war has ravaged family units, displaced persons from their homes and left millions living in perpetual fear of imminent death.
In the aftermath of the war, America attempted to assist Iraq in managing their country and fighting insurgents, but this caused more harm than good to the general stability of the United States. There are growing doubts in the mainstream America about the administration's capability of winning the war. It is clearly known that the United States of America miserably failed in the Vietnam War three decades ago, and that severely affected the confidence the Americans had on their government ability to successfully complete an overseas mission. The Iraq war is having similar effects on the American psyche. Vietnam made Americans to doubt the government's stand on issues of foreign policy. This confidence by the citizens is further is crushed by realization that their government could wage war on a country based on false intelligence reports  .
When the environmental or ecological effects of the war are assessed, more harm can be seen. The weapons used excreted chemical substances that polluted air, soil and water. These substances contained toxic materials such as hydrochloric acid, asbestos, dioxins and other harmful metals. This polluted the soil as the uranium released by combat troops killed some plant species. During the 'shock and awe', in the initial launch of attacks, there was thermal radiation excreted by heavy artillery. This thermal radiation caused death by ionising the body of Iraq civilians and American soldiers. In the course of the protracted war, many innocent civilians and soldiers suffered mechanical injuries that left them without limbs. A lot of complications arose due to the mechanical and ionising radiation such as infertility, blood disorders like blood cancer, and cataracts formation. It caused adverse effects on body organs and tissues formation i.e. radiation poisoning. It also caused genetic effects and birth defects that might subsequently be passed from current Iraq generation to the next generations.
Pressure from heavy artillery employed in the war meant Iraqi civilians' chances of survival depended on buildings they were staying in as the buildings can survive 0.8 bar of the heavy blasts, while a human can only withstand 2.0 bar of blast. The increased pressure caused by the blast caused burns of different types to the innocent casualties of the war. Examples are thermal burns from infrared radiation, beta burns from beta radiation and gamma burns from gamma radiation. Radiation also caused hair loss, other effects on the skin like ulceration, itching, flaking, inflammation and blistering.
The war in Iraq is associated with other grave ills in the society. There has been significant movement of refugee populations from Iraq to its neighbouring countries of Syria and Jordan. The war has intensified terrorism across the borders of Syria-Iraq and Jordan-Iraq instead of curtailing it. The overthrowing of Saddam Hussein from the Iraqi presidency has intensified separatism in the country and propelled sectarian violence pitting the Sunni and Shiite Muslims to another level. Prior to invasion of Iraq, Saddam had managed to keep the two factions in harmonious coexistence. With the withdrawal of the allied forces from Iraq, it will be interesting to see whether the sectarian violence, transnational criminal activities in the Middle East and the cross-border terrorism will subside or intensify. A safe bet would be on deterioration of stability and security standards.
The seven year war in Iraq has damaged the overall credibility of the United States as a world leader. Images of roadside civilian bombings, video footages of American soldiers torturing suspected terrorists and shipment of the suspected terrorist to Guantanamo bay has compounded the already bad image of the United States abroad. It can be recalled that the United States made a unilateral Iraqi invasion decision, in total disregard of the United Security Council' opposition to the war and this has installed the perception of arrogance from the Americans in dealing with diplomatic issues  .
These and other reasons make the United States' Iraq war completely unjustified.
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