Iraqi Freedom

The term Iraqi Freedom does not only represent the freedom of Iraq during the Second Gulf War but also the name Operation Iraqi Freedom which is the wars alternative name.

Between March 20th 2003 and the present day, allied coalition forces from over forty different countries have been led by America on a war to end dictatorship and terrorism in Iraq and gain the people’s freedom.

While many of you will no doubt have some knowledge of the war and have seen the pictures and news reels on the television and in the newspapers, today you will learn more about Operation Iraqi Freedom and what it has done for the people of Iraq.

Causes for War

When the First Gulf War finished the United Nations produced a resolution entitled United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, this resolution stated Iraq must destroy all long range, chemical, nuclear and biological weapons.

To enact this resolution, weapons inspectors were sent to Iraq periodically to check the status of the country’s military arsenal. By 1999 Iraq stopped the inspectors visiting as they said American intelligence agents were travelling undercover with the UN weapons inspectors.

During this same time period the United States also passed an act in government called the Liberation Act of 1998 that called for regime change in Iraq.

In 2001 George W. Bush became president. Along with support from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, George W. Bush accused Iraq of having weapons of mass destruction and called on weapons inspectors to be allowed back in the country.

By 2002 and into 2003 Iraq did allow inspectors back to check on progress made with weapon destruction as per the UN resolution. The Americans felt that Iraq was hiding the weapons of mass destruction from the inspectors so called on a coalition of 40 nations led by the United States to declare war.

Impact on Iraqi Civilians

The war commenced on March 20th 2003 and by the end of the same year the coalition had not only took control of Iraq but also captured all its senior government officials including Saddam Hussein.

Many thought this would mean the end of the war but Islamic terrorists and extremists from other Islamic nations came into Iraq and started waging war on the coalition forces. This change in war caused problems for the coalition forces because of its unorthodox approach, but it also entered a phase where many civilians were impacted heavily.

Civilians found their way of life changed forever. While the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein was over and a new government was formed under free elections, insurgents in the country have been killing and bombing indiscriminately against civilians and coalition forces.

Whether it is Mosques, markets or people’s homes the terrorists have had no thought for human life as Iraqi civilians have been caught in the cross fire between terrorists and coalition troops.

Iraqi civilians have also been impacted by coalition forces too. While not as widely impacted as from terrorists there have been a few military blunders that killed civilians but there have been criminal atrocities too.

One such atrocity that made news worldwide was the Abeer Hamza al-Janabi affair where a group of American soldiers raped a 14 year old Iraqi girl before killing her and her family and burning the body to hide the evidence. The culprits of this crime are behind bars but it had far reaching consequences for the coalition forces as the civilians and government of Iraq started to change their view and want rid of allied forces in the country whilst also causing greater terrorist attacks.

The war also saw a new form of war business start; this was the business of private security firms from outside Iraq moving in to protect senior officials. Many of these private security firms have come under scrutiny, especially as some such as Blackwater from the United States have had private security officials found to have killed civilians.

The war is still raging but there are positives for the people of Iraq.

The people of Iraq now have a democratic society where they can vote for their own government, something they have never truly had; this is a great step forward. The country is now in a position to be able to start protecting itself after the police and army have been trained by coalition forces.

Overall the issue does stand that the positives are great, but in gaining the positives over the past eight years there have been around 120,000 civilians killed in Iraq.

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