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The first decision of American politicians, which impressed me deeply, was the Iraq war. Breaking in 2003, it caused the fall of the President Saddam Hussein’s regime in this state and claimed the lives of about 4.5 thousand US soldiers. According to Western media, the documented number of civilian casualties in 2003 ranged from 100 to 120 thousand.
The official reason for the US and the UK invasion to Iraq was expected presence of weapons of mass destruction. About three weeks later in a result of rapid onset, accompanied by massive bombardment from the air, coalition land forces entered Baghdad. On May 1 President George W. Bush announced the end of hostilities and the beginning of the military occupation. Government Shiite majority came to power.
Comments about this war in our family were controversial. My father compared the campaign with previous wars in which the United States took part. He said that American soldiers in Vietnam were mainly conscripts. There were professionals, contractors in Iraq. Casualties in Iraq were lower. My dad thought that all this reduces the burden of war on society. My mother was thrilled by the war. She said that the campaign in Iraq is a decisive and inevitable failure of self-restraint in the use of violence as an instrument of state policy. She was disappointed with Americans altitude to the war.
It is noteworthy that in April 2003, shortly after the US invasion of Iraq, my friends and I supported the war and prided to our country.
I revised my views when the protest movement began to rise. I was amazed when one morning group of anti-war activists blocked the city traffic on one of the main bridges across the Potomac River in Washington downtown in protest against the war in Iraq. There were a lot of young people. A few years after the war began at the University of California students marched along the highway. Anti-war students demonstrations rose because University participation in the weapons for the US Army development. They were supported by many teachers, student council and the Department of Gender Studies. This protest provoked a wave of subsequent protests in different institutions across the country.
I would stress, that church expresses its altitude to this war. I know that Archbishops called for continuing UN inspections in Iraq, which, in their opinion, can make war unnecessary, and expressed "deep concern" about the possible consequences of an attack on Iraq. At the same time, they recognized that the moral alternative to military action cannot be inaction, passivity or indifference. They also called on Iraq to immediately demonstrate its complete subordination to UN resolutions. American Coalition of Catholics and Protestants Churches Union sent letter to the president, in which stated that the threat by Iraq could be well constrained through inspections. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that different confessions united around one idea. I studied the Bible then and knew that one of the principles of the Bible states: "Do not kill!" And the war is a large amount of violence.
However, I remember that many our friends for many years believed that Iraq and its President Saddam Hussein are the greatest threat to world peace, and therefore the regime of Saddam Hussein must be destroyed. Our friends and community considered the military operation against Baghdad as part of the fight against international terrorism, which rose after September 11, 2001. The disarmament of Iraq, where the presence of mass destruction weapons was predicted, and the elimination of Saddam Hussein's regime, that the United States suspected of having links with a terrorist organization "Al Qaeda" was considered as the key to success in this fight. One year after the occupation began, Americans did not change their altitude to this country and the president. The protest movement was rising in the US, but it was not as massive as in the rest of the world.
I think such society altitude is a result of mass-media propaganda. The US newspapers supported the new tougher US policy toward Iraq. The behavior of the media has a simple and rational explanation. Only the constant growth of "positive" news from Iraq allows Washington to hold the stock and currency markets that are most dependent on the psychological state of the participants. The media did all sorts of hints that air strikes by the US and UK military facilities in Iraq are a welcome return to the policies, which were forgotten for some time..
On the other hand, surveys conducted in several countries of the British BBC show unpopularity of war. Information that the US was only looking for an excuse to attack began to appear in the sources of the media. Furthermore, the true cause of ardent desire for war with Iraq is oil.
According to "The Independent", American soldiers destroyed date palms and orange and lemon orchards with bulldozers in central Iraq. It was an example of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers because they refused to denounce the guerrillas.
Through the years "The Independent" published an article stating that every week in the "peaceful" Iraq US soldiers killed about 1,000 people. This is only an approximate figure, since there is evidence and a significant number of victims.
Despite the growth of criticism of the war in American society, the United States did not form any noticeable anti-war movement. Demonstrations against the war are usually confined to the memorable dates.
Meanwhile, the time from the beginning of the war gave many reasons for criticism of the administration. Primarily, it showed widespread disinformation campaign undertaken by the White House to justify the war. Many violations of the US laws and international law are discovered.
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In my opinion, the war in Iraq seriously undermined efforts in terrorism fighting. It diverted substantial material and human resources, and even created in Iraq "nursery" for terrorists. Presence of nuclear and chemical weapons in Iraq was one of the main reasons for the military operation. The US President George W. Bush stated that Iraq attempted to acquire uranium in one of the African countries. It became one of the main justifications for military intervention in Iraq. However, information about the "uranium deal" was found rigged later. Regarding that Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and his alleged links to al-Qaeda were simply non-existent, the verdict on the war can be formulated as follows: rarely in human history one sacrificed so much to achieve so less.