Insidious: The Iraq Invasion U.S. Relationship with Iraq
By Ashton Hill – 20 May 2022
Insidious: The Iraq Invasion
The United States government claimed to its citizens that military troops would be sent to war in Iraq to end the proliferation of “weapons of mass destruction,” to capture Saddam Hussein for his role in the 9/11 attacks, and to end connected terrorist groups. All of these claims were blatant lies and those false claims cost thousands of Americans lives as well as thousands of innocent men, women, and children in Iraq. Although the government has claimed that the United States’ involvement in the Iraq invasion was to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism and to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, several investigations and reports have proven that the Iraq invasion was actually a propaganda campaign for war, and that the government lied to its people – both of which have lasting impacts on America’s relationship with Iraq today.
In September of 2001, there was a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City which killed thousands of innocent people. Shortly thereafter, the people of the United States were told by the government that Saddam Hussein and affiliated members of Al Qaeda were at fault for the attack. This was a complete lie and was the beginning of a propaganda campaign for war. Under the administration of President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard “Dick” Cheney said in a 2002 speech that “‘there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction’” and forever convinced the U.S. citizens that Saddam and his group were at fault (Glaser). The country was told there was a connection between Osama Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, and that they coordinated the 9/11 attacks. A House of Representatives committee later discovered in 2004 that there were “‘237 misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq that were made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice’” that were told through press conferences, speeches, written statements, and interviews (Glaser). After 9/11, General Wesley Clark spoke to one of the other generals in the Pentagon and was told that the President made the decision to go to war with Iraq. Clark was told that they didn’t know what to do about the terrorists, but that the United States had a good military and they would be able to destroy other governments. Just a few weeks later he talked to the other general again and asked if the U.S. was still going to war with Iraq. In response, he showed Clark a memo that described how the military was going to “take out 7 countries in 5 years” starting with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and finishing off with Iran (London Post).
The Pentagon released a two thousand page report on an investigation which concluded that Saddam Hussein and his regime had a number of terrorist operations and supported several terrorist groups, but neither supported Al Qaeda nor had major ties to their group. In the first few pages of the report, the investigators said that there was “‘no smoking gun tying Saddam to Osama bin Laden’s network,’” after President Bush and his administration alleged that there was “no doubt” a link between the two (Pentagon Report). The American government lied hundreds of times about the reasons for going to war in Iraq and most people do not know the truth to this day. The government intentionally hid these investigations and kept several missions classified, away from the public eye. After years of troops dying in a fraudulent war influenced by propaganda, the truth finally came out. Sadly, the truth was still overlooked by biased puppet news journalists who fed off of the government and their lies. The United States military didn’t even know an exact reason why they were going to war in Iraq. There was no specific reason; they were told that there were some terrorists that needed to be killed because they were bad guys and a threat. On May 1, 2003, President Bush declared “Mission Accomplished” which should have ended the war in Iraq, not long after the invasion (“The Iraq War”). Instead of stopping the war, troops remained in Iraq and were hunting for Saddam Hussein and anyone affiliated with him. The Iraqi army was disbanded by May 23. Just a month later, Saddam’s two sons were killed by U.S. troops during a raid. In December of 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured and put on trial by the Iraqis and was hanged. This should have been the end of the war if the claim was to end his threat of weapons of mass destruction. After Saddam’s capture and death, the Bush administration’s U.S. weapons inspector told Congress that “we were almost all wrong” about the prewar intelligence on Saddam Hussein and his workers (“The Iraq War”). Years of lies and propaganda killed innocent people and destroyed cities just to promote a bogus war that had nothing to do with the attacks of September 11.
On June 10th, 2008, there was a motion in the House of Representatives to impeach President George W. Bush, which addresses in the first article that he created a “Secret Propaganda Campaign To Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq” and that the Department of Defense not only engaged in, but also promoted, a secret propaganda campaign in order to sell the Iraq invasion (“Impeaching George”). This strategy was supported by the White House press secretary as well, as he fed the lies to all Americans. The second article in the motion claims that President Bush and several of his agents deceived the citizens of the United States as well as the U.S. Congress into believing that there was a connection between Iraq and Saddam Hussein to the attacks of 9/11 and Al Qaeda (“Impeaching George”). It claims that the government falsely justified the use of armed forces in Iraq which damaged the United States’ relationship with Iraq forever. In addition, almost two weeks after the September 11 attacks, President Bush received information in his daily briefing that there was no evidence that linked Saddam Hussein to the attacks. On top of that, there was “scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda” even though the people were told that they were connected and co-operated (“Impeaching George”). All of these claims in the impeachment motion align with the several investigations that were held from 2003 until June 2008, although President Bush was ultimately not impeached.
The United States’ relationship with Iraq today is complicated due to its rough past with a years-long war that destroyed several of Iraq’s towns and cities in addition to killing thousands of innocent human beings. The United States destroyed Iraq during the invasion and for some time, ties between the U.S. and Iraq were severed. In recent times, the United States has tried to rid the region of terrorist group ISIS and have a regime change in Iraq. The U.S. is responsible for assisting in creating a democracy in Iraq, but both countries do not see eye to eye with the changes. The United States installed a puppet government in Iraq but it was overthrown within a few years. Some issues between the two countries now are political and trade relations, defense, security, energy, and law enforcement issues (“US Relations With Iraq”). All of these issues come almost twenty years after the Iraq invasion because the two countries have a difficult past. Though both countries are working together to benefit from each other, the United States “maintains vigorous and broad engagement with Iraq on diplomatic, political, economic, and security issues ” and has a lot of control in what Iraq’s government does (“US Relations With Iraq”). The United States is trying to spread “democracy” in the middle east by placing new governments where it’s lacking, but that is not the responsibility of the U.S. government.
To conclude, the United States government lied to its people hundreds of times about the reasons for the Iraq invasion and created one of the largest propaganda campaigns for war. Several sources show how investigations proved that the government lied to the citizens of the United States in order to garner support to go to war with Iraq. The government supposedly wanted to end Saddam Hussein’s creation of weapons of mass destruction, end several terrorist groups, and to get revenge for the 9/11 attacks. The truth was later exposed, but is still overlooked by many: the United States government deceived the public into believing there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and Iraq, with Osama Bin Laden and the attacks of September 11.
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““We’re going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan &
Iran..”” The London Post, 4 March 2007,