Is Freedom Really on the March?

The Iraq occupation is spiraling disastrously out of control; American death tolls are surpassing 1100, projected reconstruction will amount to more than 200 billion dollars, and no end is in sight. To say the least, the situation in Iraq is bleak, muddled, confused, and, to top it off, not even justified. In fact, the October 6th 918 page report released by the CIA's Iraq Survey Group concluded, once and for all, that Saddam Hussein had destroyed all the stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’s) directly after the Gulf War in 1991—simply put, the weapons did not exist then and do not exist now. The final nails were hammered into the war-justification-coffin; because the WMD’s did not exist, the Iraq threat was not imminent, thus the invasion was not only unnecessary and unjustified, but potentially illegal.

The fact is, however, we are in Iraq and we continue to pay everyday with American lives. The price we pay for the Iraq debacle will continue to rise until the Bush administrations acknowledges that by fighting terrorism through force we are perpetuating, rather than stifling, terrorists’ longevity. By occupying Iraq, we are continuing to further radicalize terrorist organization, thus increasing the terrorist threat rather than eliminating it. Simply put: the Iraq war cannot be won.

Since “handing over sovereignty” to the Allawi government in Iraq, the attacks on our troops have intensified in severity and sophistication and the prospects for a free Iraq have deteriorated significantly. Since the transition, there is an average of 747 American casualties (death or injury) a month—the most deadly three month period since the invasion in March of 2003. 7,500 soldiers have been injured to this day (not to mention the 5000 or so Iraq civilians who have died). In fact, more than one thousand soldiers have been killed since the historic declaration of Mission Accomplished by President Bush.

Indeed, the most pernicious aspect of the war is not the terrorists themselves but the Bush administrations’ ignorant and incessant optimism. Despite the rhetoric about ‘steady progress’ in Iraq, Iraqi and American body counts will continue rise, government control over the Iraqi population will continue to lesson, and economic costs will continue to accrue according to an 86 page report created by a Washington think tank entitled, ‘A Failed Transition: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War.’

“This is a re-run of the Vietnam War on fast-forward,” said IPS director John Cavanagh, a contributor to the study. “It’s astounding that the number of monthly U.S. casualties is higher during this so-called ‘transition’ to Iraqi rule than during the initial six weeks of the U.S. invasion.”

In addition, the Iraq’s water, sewage, and hospital systems are in despair. Much of the 18 billion allocated to restocking medical supplies lost as a result of looting after the invasion has been dissolved in bureaucracy—the resulting unsanitary conditions are leading to a ramped viral epidemic (including Hepatitis) that may plague the devastated county.

To top it off, the war as of now, at least one economist has estimated, will cost every taxpayer 3,500 dollars from their own pockets. Obviously, as American presence remains costs will continue to rise

Reflecting the chaos, carnage, and devastation that is the Iraq insurgency, according to an Army sponsored survey, more than 75% of soldiers reported low moral—as a result more than half do not plan to reenlist.

Clearly, as of now, there is no military solution and certainly no political one. Until the Bush administration acknowledges the poor state of “Iraqi Freedom” the Iraq occupation is not, and never will be, Mission Accomplished.



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