Difference between revisions of "Operation Iraqi Freedom"

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'''2003 Iraq War''' (3/20/2003-) is presently the largest war operation in the world{{fact}}, began when the [[United States]] and allies including the [[United Kingdom]]<ref>[http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/11/20/prague.bush.nato/ Bush: Join 'coalition of willing'], retrieved March 21, 2007</ref> launched a combat operation against [[Iraq]], with the objective of deposing dictator [[Saddam Hussein]] and also bring Iraq into compliance with United Nations resolutions regarding [[Weapons of Mass Destruction|Weapons of Mass Destruction programs]]. The war is currently ongoing, and there exists a large debate over topics such as disengagement of American forces and the role of nations in the region. The administration argues that the war is is crucial to the larger U.S. led [[War on Terrorism]]. Some Democrats have criticised the administration for percieved blunders in the war on terror, and have themselves been criticized for doing so.  
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'''2003 Iraq War''' (3/20/2003-) is presently the largest war operation in the world{{fact}}, began when the [[United States]] and allies including the [[United Kingdom]]<ref>[http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/11/20/prague.bush.nato/ Bush: Join 'coalition of willing'], retrieved March 21, 2007</ref> launched a combat operation against [[Iraq]], with President Bush stating various objectives - one of which was deposing dictator [[Saddam Hussein]] and also to bring Iraq into compliance with United Nations resolutions regarding [[Weapons of Mass Destruction|Weapons of Mass Destruction programs]] (although no such weapons have been found). The war is currently ongoing, and there exists a large debate over topics such as disengagement of American forces and the role of nations in the region. The administration argues that the war is crucial to the larger U.S.-led [[War on Terrorism]]. Oddly enough, though, the Bush administration has also acknowledged that no ties existed between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda - a claim which had been used for years to justify the war. Some Democrats have criticised the administration for perceived blunders in the war on terror, and have themselves been criticized for doing so.  
  
 
===Iraqi Liberation===
 
===Iraqi Liberation===

Revision as of 12:06, 29 March 2007

2003 Iraq War (3/20/2003-) is presently the largest war operation in the world[Citation Needed], began when the United States and allies including the United Kingdom[1] launched a combat operation against Iraq, with President Bush stating various objectives - one of which was deposing dictator Saddam Hussein and also to bring Iraq into compliance with United Nations resolutions regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction programs (although no such weapons have been found). The war is currently ongoing, and there exists a large debate over topics such as disengagement of American forces and the role of nations in the region. The administration argues that the war is crucial to the larger U.S.-led War on Terrorism. Oddly enough, though, the Bush administration has also acknowledged that no ties existed between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda - a claim which had been used for years to justify the war. Some Democrats have criticised the administration for perceived blunders in the war on terror, and have themselves been criticized for doing so.

Iraqi Liberation

Many Iraqis welcomed the American invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and in the preceding months, showed optimism about their country's future. An 'American Enterprise'-'Wall Street Journal'-'Zogby' poll in September 2003 found that "Seven out of 10 say they expect their country and their personal lives will be better five years from now. On both fronts, 32% say things will become much better."[2] Furthermore, in a March 2004 poll of Iraqis, the BBC found that Iraqis have great hope in a stable, unified government for their country, with 80% of respondents favoring a centralized state ruled from Baghdad. [3] Since 2004, the unceasing violence by the insurgents has caused some people (mainly in the West) to refer to the ongoing strife as a 'civil war'. [4]

2007 - Four years into the war, the biggest poll since coalition troops entered Iraq on March 20, 2003 shows that by a majority of two to one, Iraqis prefer the current leadership to Saddam Hussein’s regime, regardless of the security crisis and a lack of public services. It also found a striking resilience and optimism among the inhabitants. The survey, published March 19, 2007, also reveals that contrary to the views of many western analysts, most Iraqis do not believe they are embroiled in a civil war; indeed, only 27% believed they were caught up in a civil war and 64% of the Iraqis still want to see a united Iraq under a central national government. [5]

ABC News (and USA Today) conducted a poll [6]and found that 56 percent of Iraqis don't believe there is a “civil war,” and a British poll determined 61 percent don't believe they're in a civil war. The Times of London's summary of the poll: “Iraqis: life is getting better." [7] A version of the combined articles as posted by The Australian: “It's better than Saddam, say hopeful Iraqis.” [8]

Insurgency

Since the removal of Saddam, the United States has been caught in the middle of sectarian violence between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims. The Shia majority, notably the Jaysh Al-Madhi, have began to attack American and other coalition troops even while the coalition has been protecting the Shia from Sunni attacks. Other Shia groups that have not attacked coalition forces have pursued their own factional aims while relying on the US to ensure Shia majority rule. To many if not most Sunnis, the US is viewed as the enemy because it supports Shia majority rule. As the Sunni interpret Muslim law, only Muslims may rule a Muslim state, and the Shia are considered heretics and thus not fit to lead the nation. Though a minority, the Sunni have traditionally ruled Iraq and view themselves entitled to continue the privilege of doing so.[9]

The Surge

Since the new US-Iraqi offensive was launched in February 2007, anti-government forces have been put on the defensive in their former insurgent strong­hold of Anbar, Britain’s top general in Iraq said (March 2007). [10] The insurgency “didn’t do too well in Anbar . . . Their claims have failed to come to fruition,” he said, referring to the declaration by Islamist radicals that they had established a “caliphate”, or successorship, encompassing much of western Iraq. Lt Gen Lamb said that US and Iraqi forces were recruiting hundreds of police for the first time in towns in the Anbar region and that the forces were working together in shared combat outposts. While conceding that car bomb attacks In Baghdad and a surge of violence in neighbouring Diyala had to be addressed, he said that US and Iraqi planners were learning to reduce the threat, establishing an outer cordon around the city as well as barriers, or “point defence” protection around key targets inside. The US military has reported cases in which car bombs have been stopped at checkpoints. In some cases the bombs detonated killing Iraqi security forces, but the casualties would arguably have been much greater had the blasts hit crowded commercial districts. General Lamb, who commanded British ground forces in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 said that multinational forces now had the benefit of four years of experience in fighting the insurgents.

Opinion polls

Iraqi opposition to the American presence, both politically and militarily, has gradually increased since 2003. A secret British Ministry of Defence poll conducted in late 2005 found that 82 percent of Iraqis were "strongly opposed" to the presence of Coalition soldiers in Iraq.[11] The same poll found support for Iraqi rebels at 45%, rising to 65% in Maysan province, although a poll by the IRI in March 2006 found 78% of respondents answered that "violence is never acceptable"[12].

Many discount these secret polls because they are biased in how the questions are asked ("Have you stopped beating your wife, yet?") and normally have been taken in the areas which have large numbers of insurgent sympathizers in the population, such as Saddam's hometown of Tikrit. The polling numbers are not included or references as to how this "secret" poll was conducted in the above reference. The lack of open disclosure and the fact that it was used to discount the intelligence to that point which was quoted in the same article as the secret poll as, "The secret poll appears to contradict claims made by Gen Sir Mike Jackson, the Chief of the General Staff, who only days ago congratulated British soldiers for "supporting the Iraqi people in building a new and better Iraq"".. leads critics to conclude that this is not a fair or accurate assessment of Iraqi opinion. Also, the article states, "The findings differ markedly from a survey carried out by the BBC in March 2004 in which the overwhelming consensus among the 2,500 Iraqis questioned was that life was good. More of those questioned supported the war than opposed it." It also contradicts the optimism shown by the Iraqis in the polls taken (March 2007) quoted in the portion above "Iraqi Liberation."

Citing safety concerns and saying the following survey was done by "An Iraqi public opinion research firm with a proven record of conducting scientifically valid surveys" (How long have they been doing surveys - "proven record"? Did they do them for Saddam?) the following University of Maryland survey was also cloaked from public view or scrutiny. Again, detractors ask, "How was the question phrased which was answered by the Iraqi respondents?"

A poll commissioned by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes in the autumn of 2006 found that Iraqi support for anti-Coalition violence had risen to 61%.[13] Similarly, a U.S. State Department poll conducted in 2006 found that "two-thirds of Iraqis in Baghdad favor an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops". Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have fled to neighboring Jordan and Syria since the 2003 invasion.[14]

The rather obvious result which is used to buoy this negative report (cited from the US State Department) that two-thirds of Iraqis would like their homeland free of foreign occupation is too vague a question as it does not answer the question of WHEN. The repeated requests to the UN by the Iraqi government for the coalition troops to remain in Iraq to help stabilize the country and the support of the people for the Iraqi government (and its policies, including keeping the US/coalition there) argue against the meaning of this being that the Iraqi people wish the US to simply leave with their mission unfinished.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Although no large physical stock piles of weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, the search is not over, and has yielded some results so far. Only about one-third of 36 million captured pages have been examined by a linguist and a summary gist of the document prepared.[15] Many believe the physical WMDs that had been produced prior to the invasion were smuggled out of the country, possibly to Syria, before the onset of the war.

Saddam's General says they had WMD - As FrontPageMagazine.com reported in its article "Symposium: Iraq, WMDs and Troubling Revelations" on May 29th 2006 - "Just recently, Saddam Hussein's former southern regional commander, Gen. Al-Tikriti, gave the first videotaped testimony confirming that Iraq had WMDs up to the American invasion in 2003 and that Russia helped remove them prior to the war. His testimony confirms numerous other sources that have pointed to Russia's secret alliance with Iraq and the co-ordinated moving of WMDs before the American liberation." [16]

According to the Duelfer Report, Saddam used the Iraq Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR) through its universities and research programs to maintain, develop, and acquire expertise, to advance or preserve existent research projects and developments, and to procure goods prohibited by United Nations Security Council sanctions.[17]

Additionally, concerning the 36 million captured pages of documentation, when it was put on the net for public translation, it was removed after they found quote, "detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb." As The New York Times confirmed in their issue November 3, 2006, Saddam had complete plans for a Nuclear Weapon and was in the process of procuring parts when the US removed him. Quote: "nuclear experts who have viewed them say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums. For instance, the papers give detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives, as well as the radioactive cores of atom bombs. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away." [18]

Additionally, tapes with Saddam speaking on them also surfaced and certain sinister remarks Saddam made on the tapes were translated which showed that he threatened to use WMD on Washington, DC. In the article , "Saddam Translator: ABC Reinterpreted Tapes" dated Feb. 17th 2006, the FBI translator who supplied the 12 hours of Saddam Hussein audiotapes excerpted by ABC's "Nightline" says the network discarded his translations and went with a less threatening version of the Iraqi dictator's comments. In the "Nightline" version of the 1996 recording, Saddam predicts that Washington, D.C., would be hit by terrorists. But he adds that Iraq would have nothing to do with the attack. Tierney says, however, that what Saddam actually said was much more sinister. "He was discussing his intent to use chemical weapons against the United States and use proxies so it could not be traced back to Iraq," he told Hannity. In a passage not used by "Nightline," Tierney says Saddam declares: "Terrorism is coming. ... In the future there will be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction. What if we consider this technique, with smuggling?" [19]

Concerning additional tapes uncovered where Saddam is being briefed by his Son-in-law, Lieutenant General Hussein, ABC News reports his words to Saddam Hussein: "Sir, I would not be speaking so openly if it were not for your excellency's and Mr. Tariq's clarification and statement that we produced biological weapons. We did not reveal all that we have. Secondly, they don't know about our work in the domain of missiles. With regard to the issue of the chemical, sir, ... In the chemical, sir, they have a problem far bigger than the biological, bigger than the biological. Not the type of the weapons, not the volume of the materials we imported, not the volume of the production we told them about, not the volume of use. None of this was correct. They don't know any of this. We did not reveal the volume of the chemical weapons that we had produced. We did not reveal the type of the chemical weapons. We did not reveal the truth about the volume of the imported materials. In the nuclear, sir, in the biological, we also disagree with them. As for the nuclear, we say we have disclosed everything but no. We have undeclared problems in nuclear as well, and I believe that they know. There are teams working with no one knowing about some of them. I go back to the question of whether we should reveal everything or continue to be silent... I would say it is in our interest not to reveal. Not just out of fear of disclosing the technology we achieved, or to hide it for future work... [20]

Another of the documents show that Saddam ordered suicide attacks on the US, which then, within a year, could have become nuclear. In the article "Saddam Ordered Suicide Attacks on U.S. Targets" dated April 6th 2006, it states, "A newly translated document from Saddam Hussein's intelligence files indicates that the Iraqi dictator ordered suicide attacks against U.S. targets six months before the 9/11 attacks." [21]

Also, there was another document discovered proving that Saddam was intending to attack London in this article "Saddam was training terrorists for attacks in London" dated March 27th 2006 - "Among the documents released last week was a translation of a three-page Iraqi Intelligence memo regarding a wave of attacks to be conducted by the Saddam Fedayeen.According to those orders, the Fedayeen Saddam was "to start planning from now on to perform special operations (assassinations/bombings) for the centers and the traitor symbols in the fields of (London/Iran/self-ruled areas) and for coordination with the Intelligence service to secure deliveries, accommodations, and target guidance."" [22]

CNSNews.com reported that an Oct. 4, 2004, report by Cybercast News Service included 42 pages of Iraqi Intelligence Service memos that revealed Saddam's purchase of mustard gas and anthrax as recently as the summer of 2000 and his extensive ties to al Qaeda. Then in June, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) released declassified portions of an intelligence report that they said confirmed Saddam's possession of weapons of mass destruction, including mustard gas. The report indicated that 500 such weapons had been destroyed by the U.S.-led coalition since 2003 and that the U.S. and its allies were racing against terrorist groups in trying to control the remaining weapons in Iraq. "It is essential for the American people to understand that these weapons are in Iraq," Santorum said during the news conference.[23]

How many WMD means Saddam had some? - Fox News reported on May 17th, 2004 that a roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent was confirmed to have exploded near a U.S. military convoy, but the incident was downplayed along with the note that mustard gas had also been found. Quote, "The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the chief military spokesman in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad. "The round had been rigged as an IED (improvised explosive device) which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy." Bush administration officials told Fox News that mustard gas was also recently discovered. [24]

Concluding that "the mustard gas was "stored improperly," which made the gas "ineffective,"" these deadly agents were ignored and the view that WMD do not exist remains remains perpetuated. The same Fox News article notes, "They believe the mustard gas shell may have been one of 550 projectiles for which former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein failed to account when he made his weapons declaration shortly before Operation Iraqi Freedom began last year. Iraq also failed to then account for 450 aerial bombs with mustard gas. That, combined with the shells, totaled about 80 tons of unaccounted for mustard gas. It also appears some top Pentagon officials were surprised by the sarin news; they thought the matter was classified, administration officials told Fox News."

ABC News reported on 7/1/2004 this article, "Polish troops find sarin warheads in Iraq" which stated, "Polish troops have found two warheads in Iraq believed to contain a deadly nerve agent. The two warheads were found in early June in a bunker in the area controlled by Polish forces, and they tested positive for cyclosarin, a substance many times stronger than sarin, the ministry said in a statement. "There is no doubt that the warheads contain chemical weapons," Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski told TVN24. "The problem is what period they came from, whether the (Persian) Gulf War or earlier, and whether they were usable, partly usable or not at all." Another dozen were found later in June and were being tested in Baghdad and the United States, he said. [25] Again, finding WMD, whether usable or not, constitutes finding WMD and refutes those who say there never were any in Iraq. "Partly usable" means it kills only half the intended amount of people? So that means the public may safely ignore any threat these weapons could have posed?

As for anthrax, on Jan 1st 2004, aim.org covered an article saying of Saddam's anthrax production capability, quote, "Investigative journalist Richard Miniter says there is evidence to indicate Saddam’s anthrax program was capable of producing the kind of anthrax that hit America shortly after 9/11. Miniter (said) that during November he interviewed U.S. weapons inspector Dr. David Kay in Baghdad and that he was "absolutely shocked and astonished" at the sophistication of the Iraqi program. Miniter said that Kay told him that, "the Iraqis had developed new techniques for drying and milling anthrax—techniques that were superior to anything the United States or the old Soviet Union had. That would make the former regime of Saddam Hussein the most sophisticated manufacturer of anthrax in the world."" [26]

Saddam's Links to Al Qaeda

BEFORE the United States went to war to depose the threat of Saddam to its Homeland, in March 2002 and February 2003, CIA Director George Tenet Testified that Iraq had clear ties to Al Qaeda. Coupled with the above statement by the NY Times article that they were only one year from a nuclear bomb and the sinister statements by the translator Tierney, along with the article about Saddam ordering preparation for suicide attacks on US targets before 911, the case for invading Iraq to secure the US from further destruction was both logical and justified.

In February 2003, CIA Director George Tenet Testified That Iraq Had Links To Al Qaeda. TENET: "Iraq is harboring senior members of a terrorist network led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a close associate of al Qaeda. ... Iraq has in the past provided training in document forgery and bomb-making to al Qaeda. It has also provided training in poisons and gases to two al Qaeda associates. One of these associates characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful. ... I know that part of this - and part of this Zarqawi network in Baghdad are two dozen Egyptian Islamic jihad which is indistinguishable from al Qaeda - operatives who are aiding the Zarqawi network, and two senior planners who have been in Baghdad since last May.

Now, whether there is a base or whether there is not a base, they are operating freely, supporting the Zarqawi network that is supporting the poisons network in Europe and around the world. So these people have been operating there. And, as you know - I don't want to recount everything that Secretary Powell said, but as you know a foreign service went to the Iraqis twice to talk to them about Zarqawi and were rebuffed. So there is a presence in Baghdad that is beyond Zarqawi." (George Tenet, Select Committee On Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 2/11/03)

Tenet Testified That Iraq Was Providing Safe Haven To Al Qaeda. SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI): "Would you say, Mr. Tenet, that the Zarqawi terrorist network is under the control or sponsorship of the Iraqi government?" TENET: "I don't know that, sir, but I know that there's a safe haven that's been provided to this network in Baghdad." LEVIN: "So you're not - well, you're saying that you don't know if they're under the support - that they are under the control or direction?" TENET: "Yes, sir. We have said - what we've said is Zarqawi and this large number of operatives are in Baghdad. They say the environment is good. And it is inconceivable to us that the Iraqi intelligence service doesn't know that they live there or what they're doing." (George Tenet, Select Committee On Intelligence, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 2/11/03)

In March 2002, Tenet Testified On Iraq's Links To Al Qaeda. TENET: "We continue to watch Iraq's involvement in terrorists' activities. Baghdad has a long history of supporting terrorism, altering its targets to reflect changing priorities and goals. It is also had contacts with Al Qaeda." (George Tenet, Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 3/19/02)[27]

As mentioned above, CNSNews.com reported that an Oct. 4, 2004, report by Cybercast News Service included 42 pages of Iraqi Intelligence Service memos that revealed Saddam's purchase of mustard gas and anthrax as recently as the summer of 2000 and his extensive ties to al Qaeda. [28]

The Duelfer Report

In 2004, the Iraq Survey Group, ISG, whose intelligence analysts are managed by Charles Duelfer, a former State Department official and deputy chief of the U.N.-led arms-inspection teams, released what has been called the Duelfer Report. [29] The ISG found "hundreds of cases of activities that were prohibited" under U.N. Security Council resolutions, a senior administration official was quoted as saying. [30] Both Duelfer and his predecessor, David Kay, reported to Congress that the evidence they had found on the ground in Iraq showed Saddam's regime was in "material violation" of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, the last of 17 resolutions that promised "serious consequences" if Iraq did not make a complete disclosure of its weapons programs and dismantle them in a verifiable manner. The United States cited Iraq's refusal to comply with these demands as one justification for going to war.

When former weapons inspector Kay reported to Congress in January that the United States had found "no stockpiles" of forbidden weapons in Iraq, his conclusions made front-page news, as did Duelfer's similarly worded conclusion in his report. But when Kay detailed what the ISG had found in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, few took notice.

Both Duelfer and Kay found Iraq had "a clandestine network of laboratories and safe houses with equipment that was suitable to continuing its prohibited chemical- and biological-weapons [BW] programs," the official said. "They found a prison laboratory where we suspect they tested biological weapons on human subjects." "Reference strains" of a wide variety of biological-weapons agents were found beneath the sink in the home of a prominent Iraqi BW scientist. "We thought it was a big deal," a senior administration official said. "But it has been written off [by the press] as a sort of 'starter set.'" They found equipment for "uranium-enrichment centrifuges" whose only plausible use was as part of a clandestine nuclear-weapons program. In all these cases, "Iraqi scientists had been told before the war not to declare their activities to the U.N. inspectors," the official said.

In testimony before Congress on March 30, Duelfer revealed the ISG had found evidence of a "crash program" to construct new plants capable of making chemical- and biological-warfare agents. The ISG also found a previously undeclared program to build a "high-speed rail gun," a device apparently designed for testing nuclear-weapons materials. That came in addition to 500 tons of natural uranium stockpiled at Iraq's main declared nuclear site south of Baghdad.

How did this happen? According to the Duelfer Report, half of the picture rests with entities outside Iraq. Saddam was trying to end the UN sanctions to pursue his conventional, dual-use, and WMD-related programs. In Saddam’s efforts to influence United Nations Security Council members - namely Russia, France, and China - to end sanctions, Saddam’s ordered the Iraq Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to formulate and implement a strategy aimed at these Security Council members and international public opinion with the purpose of ending UN sanctions by diplomatic and economic means. Saddam also made use of “Protocols” or government-to-government economic trade agreements to generate a large amount of revenue outside the purview of the UN. His success emboldened Saddam to pursue his reconstitution efforts of conventional, dual-use, and WMD-related programs starting in 1997.[31] Quote: "By 2000-2001, Saddam had managed to mitigate many of the effects of sanctions and undermine their international support," the (Duelfer) report said. [32]

The Regime’s authorities devised front companies that had close relationships with foreign government officials who worked to procure illicit goods, services, and technologies for Iraq’s WMD-related, conventional arms, and/or dual-use goods programs. Saddam used the Mukhabarat, or Iraqi Intelligence Servise (IIS) to facilitate importation of UN sanctioned and dual-use goods through Syria, Jordan, Belarus, Turkey and others. Numerous foreign trade intermediaries disguised illicit items, hid the identity of the end user, and/or changed the final destination of the item to move it to the region. For a cut of the profits they smuggled prohibited items to entry points along the Iraqi border. Companies in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, UAE, and Yemen assisted Saddam with the acquisition of prohibited items through deceptive trade practices. In the case of Syria and Yemen, this included support from agencies or personnel within the government itself.

Misreporting the Duelfer Report

As The Washington Times reported in their editorial titled "Misreporting the Duelfer Report" [33] the day following its release, October 08, 2004, quote: ""Gotcha, Mr. President." This was the consensus of the headlines from nearly every daily newspaper yesterday responding to the CIA's Iraq Survey Group report on Iraq's prewar weapons programs. Yes, the report found no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. But were these the findings that the report highlighted in the first line of its Key Findings summary? No. "Saddam [Hussein] so dominated the Iraqi Regime that its strategic intent was his alone," the summary begins. "He wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted." This hardly sounds as if the Iraq Survey Group, headed by Charles A. Duelfer, thought Saddam was cooperating with the international community.

The article goes on to explain that Saddam was attempting to get the sanctions lifted, targeting the three members of the Security Council - France, China and Russia - and then he intended to use the Oil for Food program "to acquire foreign exchange both to further undermine sanctions and to provide the means to enhance dual-use infrastructure and potential WMD-related development." Then notes, "While the United Nations turned a blind eye, Saddam cheated and committed mass murder in an effort to achieve his goals. To suggest that "containment" could have been sustained without dire results verges on the delusional. There is a very pertinent lesson in the Duelfer report; too bad no one told the headline writers."

Accusations of Cover-Ups

While both parties continue to squabble over the above documents and claims, quote, "Both Republicans and Democrats charged the other side was trying using the release of more information for its political purposes," [34] there were others who claimed there were cover-ups happening to stop further evidence becoming public. A NYsun article states, "A former special investigator for the Pentagon during the Iraq war said he found four sealed underground bunkers in southern Iraq that he is sure contain stocks of chemical and biological weapons. But when he asked American weapons inspectors to check out the sites, he was rebuffed. Between March and July 2003, Mr. Gaubatz was taken by (his) sources to four locations - three in and around Nasiriyah and one near the port of Umm Qasr, where he was shown underground concrete bunkers with the tunnels leading to them deliberately flooded. In each case, he was told the facilities contained stocks of biological and chemical weapons, along with missiles whose range exceeded that mandated under U.N. sanctions. But because the facilities were sealed off with concrete walls, in some cases up to 5 feet thick, he did not get inside. He filed reports with photographs, exact grid coordinates, and testimony from multiple sources. And then he waited for the Iraq Survey Group to come to the sites. "I have no doubts the sites were never exploited by ISG. We agents begged and begged for weeks and months to get ISG to respond to the sites with the proper equipment," Mr. Gaubatz said in a telephone interview. "An adequate search would have required heavy equipment to uncover the concrete, and additional equipment to drain the water." Mr. Gaubatz would not disclose the names of his Iraqi sources, but he said they were "highly credible" by his supervisors. [35]

Costs

(Needs more statistics) Since the war is not yet over, the total cost has yet to be tallied. However, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the war has, as of 3/12/2007, cost less than $400 Billion.[36] The numbers are highly debated, however, and other sources put the cost around $9 Billion.[37]

Casualties

According to the Iraq body Count Project, over 60,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed in the war[38], though other sources put the toll much higher. According to Department of Defense, over 3,200 U.S. soldiers have died during the war. [39]

References

  1. Bush: Join 'coalition of willing', retrieved March 21, 2007
  2. What Iraqis Really Think, retrieved March 21, 2007
  3. Survey finds hope in occupied Iraq
  4. Iraq's Civil War, retrieved March 21, 2007
  5. Resilient Iraqis ask what civil war?, retrieved March 21, 2007
  6. PDF Iraq Poll, retrieved March 21, 2007
  7. Iraqis: life is getting better, retrieved March 21, 2007
  8. It's better than Saddam, say hopeful Iraqis, retrieved March 21, 2007
  9. Testimony of Edward N. Luttwak, Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate , Hearings on Securing America's Interest in Iraq, retrieved March 21, 2007
  10. Iraq insurgents ‘on the defensive’, retrieved March 21, 2007
  11. Secret MoD poll: Iraqis support attacks on British troops, retrieved March 21, 2007
  12. Downloadable PowerPoint, retrieved March 21, 2007
  13. Poll: Iraqis support attacks on U.S. troops, retrieved March 21, 2007
  14. Warning over spiralling Iraq refugee crisis, retrieved March 21, 2007
  15. Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD, retrieved March 21, 2007
  16. http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=22645
  17. Duelfer Report, Vol. 1, Regime Finance and Procurement, p. 10 (pdf)
  18. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/03/world/middleeast/03documents.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ei=5094&en=1511d6b3da302d4f&hp&ex=1162530000&partner=homepage
  19. http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/2/17/125334.shtml
  20. http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Investigation/story?id=1623307&page=1
  21. http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/4/6/230437.shtml?s=lh
  22. http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/024eyieu.asp
  23. http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200607/NAT20060725a.html
  24. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,120137,00.html
  25. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-07-01-poland-iraq-sarin_x.htm
  26. http://www.aim.org/publications/media_monitor/2004/01/01.html
  27. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/09/20060915-4.html
  28. http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200607/NAT20060725a.html
  29. https://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_wmd_2004/index.html
  30. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38213
  31. Duelfer Report, Vol. 1, Regime Finance and Procurement, p. 9 (pdf)
  32. http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20041007-092535-2936r.htm
  33. http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20041007-092535-2936r.htm
  34. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=51952
  35. http://www.nysun.com/article/27183?access=890075
  36. Iraq: the hidden cost of the war
  37. Iraq War Cost Calculator Notes
  38. [www.iraqbodycount.org Iraq Body Count Project]
  39. [www.defenselink.mil Department of Defense]

External links