As 250,000 or more of American and British troops move into Iraq under
operation “Liberating Iraq”, it is important to understand how this war came to be,
and why we are fighting it. It is important for all in America to have at least a general
understanding why thousands of American men and women are entering a conflict that
military officials say will entail destruction never seen on this earth.
In 1991 Saddam Hussein and his army invaded Kuwait despite the warnings
of the United States and the international community. Upon the Iraqi invasion of
Kuwait, the United States along with it’s allies initiated Operation “Desert Storm”
and liberated Kuwait within forty eight hours. Upon a cease fire with Iraq, their
government agreed to let United Nations weapons inspectors enter their country
and “unconditionally accept” the destruction, removal or rendering harmless
“under international supervision” of all “chemical and biological weapons, all
stocks of agents, all related subsystems and components and all research,
development, support and manufacturing facilities.” For twelve years Saddam and
his regime has continued to defy many United Nation Security Council resolutions,
and has not accounted for weapons of mass destruction that he is known to have.
On November 8th 2002, The UN Security Council unanimously adopted
Resolution 1441 outlining an enhanced inspection regime for Iraq’s
disarmament to be conducted by the U.N. Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection
Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Unfortunately, Saddam Hussein did not disarm Iraq of nuclear, biological, and
The importance of Saddam Hussein to disarm is apparent in his reign over
Iraq. He has unleashed chemical and biological weapons on his own people in
southern and northern Iraq, killing innocent thousands of women and children. He
has also unleashed these weapons on his neighboring countries, most notably Iran.
Saddam Hussein also has known ties to terrorist organizations, most notably the
Osama Bin Laden led Al-Queada, the terrorist group that claimed responsibility
for the attacks that left innocent thousands of American citizens dead on
September 11, 2001. Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States, along with many
other countries in the international community fear that weapons of mass
destruction that Saddam Hussein is known to possess may fall into the hands of
outlaw terrorist organizations and used against the United States or it’s allies.
Saddam Hussein rules his country by fear. It is apparent that anyone who opposes
him faces torture, (including acid chambers, and rape rooms) or death. Due to the
ruthless dictatorship that Saddam Hussein rules under, the possibility of anyone
within his government persuading him to disarm is non existent. Until he is
disarmed, the entire world, including his own people, is in imminent danger.
On March 18, 2003, the Unites States along with Britain, and Australia
gave Saddam Hussein and his sons an ultimatum; leave Iraq within forty-eight
hours or face military action. On March 20, 2003, Saddam Hussein and his sons
decided not to leave Iraq, therefore, the United States along with it’s allies
launched “Iraqi Freedom”. Within three hours after the forty-eight hour deadline,
the Untied Stated began the war by launching precision guided bombs to destroy
military targets within Baghdad. The United States has made it clear that this will
not be a war of conquest, but will be a war of liberation. What remains to be seen
is how the people of Iraq will react to the military invasion. Years after living
under a murderous regime and fear, many wonder if the Iraqi people will welcome
the United States military with open arms and cheers, or with bombs and rifles.
The Iraqi military however seems to have dug in for the moment, and are putting
up a fight as the coalition as made it’s way north from Kuwait to Baghdad. There
have so far been casualties on both sides on the conflict, and as the troops move in
closer to Baghdad, many worry that the Iraqi military may use chemical weapons,
as their have been intelligence reports that Saddam Hussein may have given orders
to his Republican Guard unit to use chemical weapons if the enemy crosses an
imaginary red line on the outskirts of Baghdad.
No one knows for sure how many lives will be lost during this conflict, or
how it will end. All we can do here back home is to pray that it will end soon as
peaceful as possible. We all wish we had a the proverbial crystal ball, so we could
warn our troops of dangers ahead. War is dangerous and unpredictable to say the
least, and not even the soldiers know what the future holds for them and their units.
During a news interview with a young marine soldier before he and his unit were
about to enter the conflict with Iraq from the south, the reporter asked the soldier
“what do you expect in the days ahead”?. The soldier bravely responded with
a southern drawl, “Well sir, I have no Idea, I”m just two feet headed north”! With
that, he looked into the camera with a half grin, a gave an ole southern hospitality
wink complimented with a approving nod. Two feet headed north indeed I thought,
and we can only pray that those two feet will be headed home real soon.