What are we doing fighting in Iraq?

September 11, 2007|By SHOVAL RESNICK


Today, on Sept. 11, many Americans will be thinking not just about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but also about the War in Iraq.

Which brings to mind a question: Why?

Why have these things become so connected in the minds of American citizens? Could this be the reason that nearly six years after the 9/11 attacks, Americans as a whole are unable to move past the tragedy?

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, terrified and outraged us, and rightly so. Almost 3,000 Americans died in the attacks.

After that tragedy, the obvious course of action was to find the culprits. The investigation led to Afghanistan, where the conservative Taliban regime supported al-Qaida, a radical Islamic movement led by Osama bin Laden. The Bush administration initiated the global war on terror, and a U.S. military campaign pushed the Taliban out of Afghanistan and killed many members of al-Qaida. Osama bin Laden was not apprehended, but al-Qaida was disrupted.


My question is: How did we go from hunting down the murderers of American civilians to the invasion of Iraq? What does Iraq or deposed dictator Saddam Hussein have to do with the World Trade Center disaster?

Answer: nothing.

It is true that Saddam Hussein led a horrifying regime. It is true that many people around the world wished Hussein would be removed from power and a less repressive government installed. But why did the Bush administration choose to attack Hussein during the pursuit of al-Qaida? Bin Laden and Saddam were not connected.

Bush claimed Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Four and a half years after attacking Iraq, no such weapons have been found, nor any facilities to make nuclear weapons. Even if there were nuclear weapons in Iraq, what do they have to do with Osama bin Laden? Nothing.

The U.S. government actions connected these two completely separate events. Now, until both are over, neither can be overcome.

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