President George W.Bush, supported by great Britain, in particular Blair, invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003. The blasts that shot across Baghdad, Iraq’s Capital, marked the beginning of military action to overthrow Saddam Hussein. In a state just minutes later, Bush declared, “At this moment American, and allied forces are undertaking the first phase of a military operation to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to liberate its people, and to safeguard the world from a serious menace.” His argument was that Sadam Hussein was a dictator, guilty of genocide and had constructed weapons of mass destruction.
To put things into perspective, the US had been scuffling with Saddam since he the day he had invaded Kuwait. Saddam was pushed out of there in 1991, but the UN went onto pass various declarations to disarm Saddam and to take away chemical munition. He cooperated, to an extent with the inspectors, but kept them on their toes by not making it clear how much he was actually cooperating. He did this to intimidate both domestic and Iranian forces into thinking he still had a vast number of chemical weapons, when in reality he didn’t. Leading to a sense of distrust from the US and the UN.
Why the war was fought, according to the US and UK governments, was that Iraq had chemical and nuclear chemical and nuclear weapons and was planning some sort of nuclear war. They claimed that Iraq had used mass destruction weapons against his people and violated UN sanctions, so the Bush administration and Blair’s UK government decided to remove him. However, they knew that Saddam Hussein didn’t have mass destruction weapons, but they used this as a justification for a war they wanted to fight for other reasons.
The invasion of Iraq was also motivated by one other reason: the strategy to gain control of the nation’s oil reserves. The world needs a lot of oil, and Iraq is rich in it. America could not plausibly declare we were fighting for the oil, so they couldn’t say that this was the reason that they went to war. A lot of countries (Russia, Venezuela, Saudia Arabia and Iran, to name a few_ that produce large quantities of oil are not always reliable allies of the United States and Western Europe. If Iraq’s oil reserves were controlled by a democratic government friendly to the United States and Western Europe, the West would be less dependent on oil from those countries.
It’s now generally recognised that there was no connection between Al Quaeda (The Afghanistan-based organisation held responsible for 9/11) and Iraq, and that Bush and Blair never explicitly said there was one, but always implied one just to fool the people. Because of how frightened American citizens were of Islamic terrorism in the years after 9/11, a lot of people believed there was a connection and supported the invasion on that basis, believing it was justified.
Unfortunately, it is crucial to mention the repercussions on Iraqis. Many Iraqis were killed. Families were torn apart and homes destroyed because of all the lies and distrust that America created. Nearly one third of the population is now living in poverty according to the Nations Development Programme. The education system has broken down and Iraqis basic needs in drinking water, food, sanitation and electricity are not met. Areas of Iraq are also suffering from basic medical supplies and are heavily understaffed. Moreover, the countries Cultural heritage has been destroyed. The National Library was burnt and looters raided the National Museum as well as destroyed and damaged historic buildings and artefacts.
America itself lost out, with many soldiers dying, being wounded and being left with no financial support in the aftermath. It also cost America trillions of dollars, for a war that should never have happened.